Is it any good? Would you folks recommend it?
The Coming Insurrection
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I'm a quarter of the way through, I'm aware the actual organisational stuff is at the back, so far its basically an extended and rambling polemic.
Highly recommended. It's highly theoretical and at times almost poetic, and it still manages to reach some great insights
Regarding its concrete political proposals it's not feasible any more than the same tactics and organizational principles were a hundred years ago. Terrorism, calculated sabotage, loose affinity groups, Utopian communes and temporarily reclaimed territories, in short, politics removed from the masses, politics without long-term strategy aren't workable.
Don't waste your time, get the real heavy stuff fam…….
Halfway through, fucking depressing so far
Says the fucking leninist. Update your theory, old man.
Seriously, how does the Left manage to continuously recycle the most retarded and unworkable set of shit-tier tactics/strategies constantly? Is there a sign we can post up at the elite universities these middle class children get churned out of that says "No, terrorism is fucking dumb, and so are utopian communes and coups. Think up something better you over-educated, insufficiently-socialised twat"?
Chuang had some good writings, but I can't find them at chuang.cn anymore. What's their address now?
How out of touch with reality do you have to be to believe in this shit? The insurrections and temporary communes envisioned by the Invisible Committee came true during the Arab spring, Occupy, French youth riots etc.
So useless, temporary phenomena that made a bunch of people feel like they were 'doing something' for about 5mins before the police arrived and the military took over government. Great result.
They may have come true, but they also faded away rapidly. Leninism isn't any good either, but that doesn't excuse your ephemeral anarkiddie shit.
It is obvious how little you know. If you knew how close Egypt was to full scale revolution you wouldn't say this, probably closer than workers in many western nations ever have come.
It was only then that the deep state stepped in with full force.
Okay, keep selling newspaper and recruiting old people to your sect then. glhf
Hey man, I've got a great deal on a bridge for you. Interested?
Also not everyone who thinks your shit is retarded is a newspaper seller or M-L.
As always, you idiots whine about how close they came without acknowledging that without some kind of political leadership it's always another near miss.
That's not what I said, reread my post.
Oh so now you have a large knowledge of the Arab spring and what strategic errors they committed.
And both of you idiots will keep running around in retarded little circles fucking things up and barking at each other in between failures until you realise that without a new mode of production to implement during the uprising any revolt is guaranteed to end in a return to capitalism one way or another.
You think you're Jacobins but you're more like the Hussites or Yellow Turbans.
How could you not notice that without a mass, proletarian party the politics of the so-called Egyptian revolution was dominated by the local equivalent of liberals and neckbearded Islamists?
The only one barking is you.
A truly leftypol tier flinging of shit. Well educated, my spook
I legitimately don't know what you're trying to say here.
the Egyptian Spring was dominated by the unemployable youth and disaffected graduates fighting for their class interests, bread and social justice.
What was consistently absent was any kind of political attempt to unify the agitation of rural and urban workers with the highly educated, unemployed youth dominating Tahrir Square. And how did it end? Badly. Serving its purpose, the military acted as guarantor of the Egyptian bourgeois order – and this was accepted by the population, by and large. There was no further insurrection because there was no leadership to identify the nature of the military's intervention in the revolt, there was no banner to rally around, and it all fell apart. The 'revolution' ended not with a bang but with a whimper.
Literally all your responses have been parroting marxist-leninist prophecies of how the revolution will occur. The fact that your response to witnessing actual revolutions not conforming to your ideology has been to dismiss them entirely shows just how hopeless you are. Like I said have fun selling newspapers, some of us are actually trying to abolish capitalism
nod an argument long became a way to evade the actual arguments involved, in this case
It didn't consist of highly educated, unemployed youth, but highly educated youth AND poor unemployed youth (aka your beloved "urban workers"). This has been a recurring theme in most recent urban revolts.
You've got nothing, I understand. Now fuck off.
I agree that the total lack of an actual revolutionary goal was what led to the quick demise of the Egyptian revolt. Try to keep track of who's in the argument. You've got the dogmatic tankie (You), the anarchist idiot advocating for the retardation present in The Coming Insurrection, and me.
I am shitting on both of you because you're arguing over the best way of conducting a revolution when the key part of the actual fucking success of the revolution (the change in the mode of production) is the one thing that neither of you actually have. Hence the Hussite comment - you're like all the peasants that revolted under the tributary mode of production without a new mode of production to implement - doomed to re-implement the old system in one form or another because you haven't found the actual way out yet.
Speaking of avoiding arguments, you fucking retard:
I didn't see you respond to that, all you did was repeat the first part of my post back to me.
link? Is it in other languages rather than english and french?
1) I'm not a tankie, 2) that's not me, and 3) changing the mode of production is beyond the capabilities of those participating in a generalized revolt without political leadership, without even going into how they never overcame the key political fail-safe, which was the army, either peacefully or in a civil war.
Perhaps the leadership comes from workers' councils which were in place before the revolt and which then formed a revolutionary party with elected leadership, or perhaps it comes from a vanguard party in the old ML style. It doesn't really matter in this instance. What matters is that the Egyptian proletariat revolted and lost, and they lost because they were without leadership.
I have only read a few pages, then skimmed, and found it so pretentious and at times really silly that I gave up on even skimming it. My superficial impression was in line with this: anarchism.pageabode.com
How do you think the bourgeoisie is able to pull off most of their shit? Is it simply because the've got effective 'political leadership'? Fuck no, the political aspect is totally secondary to the emergent mass behaviour of capitalists pursuing their own personal interests.
The same should be true of the workers in struggle. If a new mode of production has legitimately formed within the womb of capitalism, political leadership should be an afterthought: people would already be moving toward the new mode of production of their own accord, and dawning political consciousness/organisation would follow as a matter of course. Marx makes it crystal fucking clear in Poverty of Philosophy: new productive forces → new mode of production → new politics/social relations. Trying to skip right past the 'new mode of production' part is exactly the mistake that everyone seems to make.
The fact is, if you can't answer the question "How would people start abolishing capitalism if they won?" without retaining the Law of Value, you simply don't have a revolutionary moment.
That's not to say that these revolts are wrong to engage in, of course - people are absolutely right to fight and we should of course be helping them. But we also shouldn't be under any illusions about the actual revolutionary potential of these uprisings in the absence of a mode of production that transcends the commodity form.
I've read it a few years ago and my memories of its content are fuzzy, but I found it a tad too edgy and limited when it comes to how we should organize, since it basically boils down to DUDE COMMUNES LMAO. But I like their way of seeing insurrections as a kind of party, like the SI, where friendships are created.
To Our Friends is more interesting since they spend a good deal of time analyzing why movements like the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street failed. Their criticism of assemblies is spot on since the protesters against the Loi Travail last year fell for the meme and it contributed to their downfall by generating inaction.
I'm halfway through their new book, Maintenant, and I think it's their best one so far, even though I might be blinded by its novelty.
I tried to summarize each individual chapters here but I feel like this was useless since it doesn't convey the general message of the book too well.
They basically think that society is becoming more and more fragmented, and the political dream of unity, like what Trump and Le Pen proposed recently, is dying slowly. Look at Syria for example, do you think Syria can be reunited after 5 years of civil war, as it is now ? You can see that pattern even in the results of the first round of the recent French elections.
In general, the top-down way of governing is losing its relevancy.
In this situation, the solution is to destitute institutions for them, instead of wanting to capture them in a Leninist fashion, and to live movements like Nuit Debout (protests against the Loi Travail last year) as experiences instead of a way to give rise to a new form of power that will govern us later.
Politics for them is not something separated from the everyday life, but is part of life itself, in the sense that we should take decisions on how to organize our way of living, since we are the ones that live, not the institutions.
And it's true that active participation in a movement is a good way to generate political action and theory, as it has been the mean to experience the failures of popular assemblies for the members of this Invisible Committee. Waiting for the mythological revolution in front of your computer or voting for far-right populists to piss off the proles won't do anything.
I regret not having taken notes while reading, because I could have done a better summary of what I've read, but it's too late.
I could translate one or two chapters of the book if there is enough interest, since I have a lot of free time in my hands these days.
So it's just good old smashie lifestylism.
Yeah dude we already established that like waaaaay upthread.
I guess you didn't read this part of my post then :
Seriously, do you have any other alternative to this ? What are you doing to make the big night when full communism will be finally achieved come true ?
Yeah, I took one hour to redact this message since English isn't my first language, I just saw the shitshow.
this is fantastic, thank you
I'm not the guy you were arguing with and I'm not ML.
Of course they have effective political leadership you retard, and what's more they have the State at their back with bayonets and nuclear weapons. How is that secondary to the people on the receiving end?
Political leadership is never an afterthought and neither is it self-evident. Marx believed that communism was possible in his own time. The new productive forces were already rebelling against the mode of production – which is why we end up with recurring crises. We can't create new politics and social relations within the confines of the ossified bourgeois order, hence the necessity and desirability of a revolution. This is fucking Marx 101 you imbecile.
If you think people cannot have a movement until they have a utopian conception of how capitalism is to be abolished then you're no communist. We can generalize, like what the comrades in the cybernetics thread have been doing, Cockshott's works, and like what Marx and Engels (and others) have done, but we don't know exactly until the rubber hits the road, and what's more we have to focus on creating the dictatorship of the proletariat before worrying about the negation of anything.
Do you not see the contradiction in your own argument? This is the most absurd bullshit I've ever seen. If we had a mode of production that transcends the commodity form pre-revolution then why the fuck do we need a revolution in the first place?
In similar fashion to
1) Neither am I a tankie (nor M-L).
2) I accidentally disflagged.
3) The topic is NOT what comes after the revolution. The topic is what leads up to the revolution (as OP book clearly suggests) with focus on the organizational principles, strategic considerations.
I've read both OP and the pic related (Lenin's what is to be done) book. Notice the pattern: I provide a brief criticism of OP. What follows is autistic screeching at the general misconceptions about Lenin's work (or Leninism in general, ML), equating what became of the USSR with the organizational principles laid down by Lenin. Things aren't that simple, I'm afraid, and even cursory familiarity with Soviet history should make that obvious.
I'm more than ready to argue about the concept (and the concrete workings) of the party, and I'm not an uncritical follower of the vanguard, for I see to its shortcomings and possible inherent dangers of it, but revolutions are dangerous biz, yo.
You are totally disregarding the network of autocratic control-mechanisms that are prerequisites of the current status quo. In this you seem to fall into the impressions left by neo-liberalism: a market without leaders, the acephalous economy, and so on.
This is literally impossible. If you are thinking of coops as a "new mode of prod." you are factually wrong, it is a cap. mod. of prod. Sure, less hierarchic, but capitalism, nonetheless. If you are thinking of communes cut off from the rest of society, ~150 years of Utopian socialism proves your suggestion irrelevant.
This would be greatly appreciated since the English translation won't supposedly come out until November
Literally 'be the change you want to see in the world'. Experiences are limited to those who live them. It's no basis for a broad political movement.
Sure, but did they start off with any of those things? No, the new mode of production came first, you fuckhead. The bourgeois state followed after it was apparent that there was a new class whose affairs needed managing.
Sure, but those new productive forces have not yet yielded a new mode of production. That's the crux of my argument. There's not yet any emergent trend pointing the way toward the abolition of the Law of Value. Any revolution, for it to befit the name, has to be the implementation of a mode of production that abolishes the Law of Value. Not only has this not happened, but not a single revolt during the past century has come all that fucking close to doing so.
And if you think people can just clear away the old order and build a whole new society without any clear sense of what they're building then you've been reading someone who isn't Marx. Look at every previous mode of production. Every single time, the new mode has begun to appear within the womb of the old system. These appearances, at first small and quantitative, add up until they overwhelm the old system and cause a qualitative shift in society. This is the entire fucking reason Marx uses dialectics, to understand this exact process of societal change.
Cool, and if I'd ever suggested that I'm sure I'd be BTFO by your brilliant statement of the obvious. However, I'm not fucking talking about the new politics or the new social order. Both of those things come during the revolution, as an emergent property of the class moving to secure its own interests and creating the social relations that best do so. The thing that comes before the revolution is the new mode of production, just like it has in every other revolutionary transition.
>This is the most absurd bullshit I've ever seen. If we had a mode of production that creates the commodity form pre-revolution then why the fuck do we need a revolution in the first place?
Can you see how ridiculous this statement is when it's made from the perspective of a member of the nascent bourgeoisie under the tributary mode of production? Of fucking course the new mode of production will begin to appear under the old mode of production - that's exactly how it's happened in every previous transition, unless you're going to try telling me that commodity production was completely non-existent before the English Civil War. Revolutions are waged to solidify a nascent mode of production, not to clear the way for its creation - that's anti-Marxist bullshit.
That's exactly what I'm talking about: the nascent communist mode of production is the thing that leads up to the revolution. All your autistic screeching about organisation is what happens during the revolution, to establish the primacy of the new mode over the old.
I haven't fallen into a neoliberal understanding, I'm merely pointing out that at the most basic level, the capitalist class doesn't closely co-ordinate. The state and the 'network of autocratic control mechanisms' are an emergent property of the existence of private property, wage labour, and commodity production. You're falling into some vulgar anti-Marxist shit by suggesting that the state is anything different.
It's how every other revolutionary change in society started. You're arguing against Marx here.
Well those are a pair of extremely poor guesses at what I was thinking of, so no points there I'm talking about the communist mode of production, and how it has to appear at least partially under capitalism. I can't point to an example of where it has done so (the fact that I nor anyone else can do so is the best argument against the real revolutionary potential of the failed revolts so far under capitalism), all I can do is point out analogous situations under previous productive modes. The best example would be the presence of commodity production in the textile industry despite the fact that most other goods were produced in a directly social manner under the tributary mode of production.
"Experience" doesn't have to mean literally a Pepsi ad. You can't just execute the perfect strategy out of the blue overnight. You need practice and experimentation.
Contact bunkermag admin, and make it into an article, will ya?
Don't do this, the guy's a fuckwit who doesn't even proofread.
Which, again, is literally impossible.
>organisation is what happens during the revolution
I disagree wholeheartedly. (I'm not a fan of invoking Marx in all contexts, but there's a reason he participated in the International, that he supported the party form.)
Our disagreement – I think – can be made explicit in the following way, and I encourage you to leave aside "autistic screeching" in favor of a cool-headed debate: you think that what leads up to a revolution is a change inside the current mode of production, and the revolutionary moment (in fact, movement) is just an extension of this established alternative. I believe that we are very limited in our capabilities to create such an alternative (as I've pointed to Utopianism, and coops).
For me, party work is different in many aspects from all the other types. The communist party engages in ideological struggle, something the proletariat can not do, not because of >le dumb workers, but because the very mode of production we are faced with separates "menial" and "intellectual" work, meaning that the gross majority of the people do not have the privilege to undertake such work (because they are bogged down by everyday wage-slavery).
The proletariat (generally) hasn't the existential means to participate in ideological work, while the party is supposed to complement this very lack. An example: workers in the steel industry organize a strike. Good. They rally, they make their (usually reformist) demands known, and hopefully the press covers it. The party comes in in this context, and tries to uphold this energy for tomorrow! Without the party, every temporal intervention disappears due to 1) time; 2) the demarcated mode of prod. that capitalism creates (intelligentsia vs. menial work) 3) the capitalist MOP.
Under duress, they do, and today, better than the proletariat. The bourgeoisie is better organized, can close ranks sooner and better, than us. Just look at the recent economic crisis, and see who have won. Porky squeezed us out of everything and we were divided. You can't trust a vague (individualist, temporal) collective, such as Occupy or the Arab Spring to give a concise narrative and program on what is to be done, not because their personal failings, but because the very form such groupings take.
I haven't uttered a word about the state.
Two counter-examples: Catalonia, 1936, Russia, 1917. The MOP didn't budge. Nice Marx-fagging, tho.
The communist MOP is literally impossible under capitalism.
I think there's a qualitative distinction to be made here, and I believe your whole point hinges on some kind of understanding of Marx's historical materialism. What separates us, the communist movement, from previous MOP, namely slave-owning, feudalist, is that the game itself changed – on the one hand –, and that the road from a class society (all previous MOP) to a post-class society is not the same, can not be the same, as the previous "natural evolution."
Don't be a defeatist cuntfag. Send it to xir and ask for revision before it is posted. Bunkermag needs our love, and leftypol need Bunkermag.
You missed the part where there was a long, protracted period of attempted revolutions accompanying the development of that mode of production which, not coincidentally, reflected the political desires and needs of the developing bourgeoisie against the aristocracy – who were even physically liquidated en masse on occasion. That's as viscerally political as it gets, dickhead. We've already had that a few times. We are experiencing our own period of protracted struggle against the bourgeoisie.
Of course there's an emergent trend – it's called the development of the forces of production, which, in our own time, means automation first and foremost. The forces of production are becoming even more efficient and powerful, which will only intensify the existing contradiction between social production and individual appropriation. It also doesn't take a genius to acknowledge that if a revolution fails then attempts to recognize social productive forces as actually social will fail too – and a revolt is a petty attempt which doesn't even know that much.
What you seem to miss is that Marx already saw the possibility of a new mode of production within the womb of capitalism, otherwise he would not have agitated for communism then and there. He saw precisely what the utopian socialists of the past were unable to see – the material foundation of class society, and thus the possibility of its abolition. How many times do I have to tell you? The new mode of production is immanent but it cannot be realized until the bourgeoisie have been eliminated as the primary impediment to its realization – and not just in one country.
In order for the new mode of production to become generalized social revolutions are necessary to get rid of the political resistance of the old class. Why the fuck do I even have to explain this to you?
We don't have a communist mode of production because we're still operating under the bourgeois mode of production, you dipshit. As you already noticed nobody has moved beyond this mode of production. What this means is despite the possibility of a new mode of production being in place, no revolution has yet succeeded in bringing it into existence due to the political resistance of the bourgeoisie – resistance which translates into deadly force against the proletariat. Communist revolution is arguably going to be the most demanding and the most difficult of all because it requires the proletariat to organize across multiple countries and immediately cooperate on a sophisticated basis against the bourgeoisie globally. You implied that the communist mode of production had to be generalized before the revolution to succeed and this is simply false. It will start in an international revolution and from that basis become at first specific to the countries of origin and then, once bourgeois resistance is entirely overcome, global.
And all of this obfuscates the fact that you cannot refute that the Egyptian revolution was lost not on there being no basis for the communist mode of production but because the proletariat was unable to even organize as the proletariat. Fuck me I have to sleep. If you reply I'll respond when I can.
It's worse than false, it's impossible!
You keep saying this, but you offer no proof and no argument. You need to either provide one of those things or stop insisting it.
No, I think that the new mode of production first appears alongisde the old mode, replacing the old mode in certain industries/goods but not yet affecting others. Obviously that's how it happened under the tributary mode, but there's also an argument that we're seeing the first sparks of it in information-based industries (eg, the fact that encyclopedias, scientific journals, some software, etc is no longer produced for exchange).
As this mode overtakes more of society's production, there comes a breaking point where the quantitative development of the new mode alongside the old turns into a qualitative change in society - ie, a revolution. Political organisation, in this schema, is the emergent expression of the class interested in the protection and expansion of the new productive mode.
That's why I find all the talk of 'Leninist organising!' 'No! Anarchist non-organising!' very tiring - you're arguing over the control of a movement that substantially simply doesn't exist yet. The fundamental failure this engenders is written all over the premature movements of the 20th century - you weren't actually championing the new mode of production, and so your revolt ended only in the nigh-immediate re-establishment of capitalism.
How are they counter-examples? The mode of production didn't budge and neither did capitalism. The Law of Value wasn't overcome during those revolts.
Tell me how encyclopedias are produced and consumed today, then reconsider that statement.
This may be the case, but if it is I don't know why Marx stuck with dialectics as his methodological tool. Dialectics is a great tool for understanding phase changes in complex systems - quantity into quality, etc. If the movement that transcends class society doesn't bear some fundamental resemblance to previous societal transitions, why would Marx bother drawing the comparison?
And you're missing the part where I repeatedly point out that those political struggles of the bourgeoisie against the aristocracy followed the appearance of commodity production, aka the new fucking mode of production. That is in fact my entire fucking point, and if both of you guys want to keep ignoring it we're quickly going to hit a brick wall.
Peasants also experienced centuries of protracted struggle against the aristocracy. However, in lacking a new mode of production to implement, their struggles didn't amount to a revolutionised society. Does that maybe sound like the entire 20th century to you? It does to me.
I don't doubt that the forces of production are improving. However, my point is about the new mode of production, that is, the new way of making our livelihood that emerges from the developments in the forces of production.
You implied that the communist mode of production had to be generalized before the revolution to succeed
Both of you said this, and it is a complete fabrication and misrepresentation of my point. I never said the communist mode of production had to be generalised before the revolution. I said that the communist mode of production had to exist, and that revolution would be the process that generalises it.
I was going to write more and vehemently but sleep so fuck it. I'm not some anti-revolutionary strawman like you're trying to make me out to be.
Also enough with the impossible thing dude jesus don't make me molymeme
Are you familiar with the history of class struggle, their attempts that failed on short terms and on long terms?
Again, this was possible under class-based economies: slave → feudal → capitalist.
I can't react to your ignorance of the history of Utopian Socialisms. You still owe us of explaining how exactly this "new, commie MOP" under capitalism should and would emerge?
And this is called (economic) determinism, Lenin in cited books already addresses…
Sure, I give you that. But what about OP? Does OP's suggestion exist? Objectively not. And since this is a theoretical debate about organization, I already proposed the question: what is feasible, what is strategic, what can really lead to a revolution?
On another note, and please answer this, WHO will make your "commie MOP" under capitalism possible, and how?
Are we going to debate historical facts, really? The Leninist party model could engender more than half of humanity. I'm not saying that the model was immaculate, I'm saying that the model has clear, empirical ups vs. the history of Utopian socialism.
This is looking back at history, and retroactively declaring that neither movement had chances at communism. Pure idealism.
Exactly because? …
(Let's be honest: you are still shilling cf. the OP's topic. You jump from point to point without understanding the main problematic.)
You are welcome, again, under the banner of cool-headed discussion, to address specific points addressed by webms – or us –, for that matter.
General reminded that Jodi Dean is an incipient fraudulent twat who's supposedly scientific world view is based on a complete bed rock of unprovable bullshit.
Stop try to shill her Lenin hat, you cunt.
Did you read a single line of political theory in your life, muh friend?
get this postru po-mo outta here
An error occurred during a connection to chuangcn.org. Cannot communicate securely with peer: no common encryption algorithm(s). Error code: SSL_ERROR_NO_CYPHER_OVERLAP
didnt mean to sage
Fuck off back to 0chan with your buttbuddy n1x.
Why's someone dumping webms of some gal in an Invisible Committee thread? What's going on
That's weird. Here's their twitter account, you can try accessing their work through there: twitter.com
Thanks, these people seem very interesting. Although the invisible commitee shouldnt be ignored.
does anyone have a link to that full interview?
The concrete proposals of the invisible committee is being discussed right in this thread. Maybe join the discussion instead of saying general shit like "thanks, but the Green Peace shouldn't be ignored!"
Well, the book freaked Glenn Beck out.
In that regard, yes, I would recommend it.
You read any books, lately?
shes qt but fuck her otherwise
If you are arrogant like that, you will miss a great opportunity to experience a stimulating conversation. You should ask Leninhat how the revolutionary party should be structured, who can be a member, how to organize for popular short-term goals without that creating obstacles later for the bigger change, how to canvass and shit, what sort of voting methods to use internally, what are to be the typical duties. If you do that, he will recommend to you Crowds and Party by Jodi Dean. And if you read that, you will see that it doesn't answer a single fucking question about any of that. And if you then complain about it, he will post some stale fedora memes.
So who is Jodi Dean?
Some authoritarian cunt who's incapable of understanding history and who thinks that anarchists are failures because they never managed to institute state capitalism. Pretty much like every other tankie.
Fixed that for you.
Yes, and the only thing tankies have achieved is state capitalism. If that's the measure of success, then it's better to fail.
Straight mischaracterization. She argues for a state, but she's not a tankie.
Commodity production is not a mode of production; it contains the bourgeois mode of production in embryo. That is because commodity production is (private) production for exchange. It preceded capitalism. Wage labor also precedes capitalism and is another embryonic element of its mode of production. Once the two were combined (with capital as well, which I'll get to), wage labor and production for exchange, the capitalist mode of production came into being, and the struggle began for to become generalized against the feudal mode of production based upon the subjection of the peasantry (e.g. serfdom).
What you are ignoring, repeatedly, is that the main struggle to bring a communist mode of production into being is the negation of value production and class society. Direct social appropriation of the means of production and the means of subsistence. The bourgeoisie stand against any movement to realize it and this constitutes their political resistance, not only through force but most certainly using it.
Peasants were not the revolutionary class, the burghers were, who eventually became bourgeoisie. They were a minority middle class between the peasantry and the aristocracy who eventually displaced the aristocracy and created a new majority class, proletarians, as the bourgeois mode of production was generalized. That mode of production was generalized as merchant and finance capital penetrated into production, creating manufacturing against handicrafts.
Do you see what happened now? Capital, wage labor, and commodity production all preceded capitalism – and it was those three things which created the bourgeois mode of production.
So now we turn to your main problem. One of the main features of the bourgeois mode of production is its compulsive need to develop the forces of production and create new markets, which has the effect of tearing the means of subsistence out of the hands of the proletariat. In the organic composition of capital, the bourgeois invests in fixed capital (machines etc.) and suppresses wages in order to increase the rate of exploitation, and thus the extraction of surplus value. Ergo, we see increased automation and vasts swaths of the proletariat facing obsolescence. Other features of this dynamic are irrelevant for our purposes.
What Marx believed, rightfully imo, is that the proletariat will be forced to realize what this means for them as a class. Relative immiseration of wages, increase precarity of life, physical and psychological suffering, etc. These issues will, with the aid of the communist movement, lead to a social revolution against the bourgeoisie. Why does Marx not believe that a new mode of production is to be developed concurrently with this movement? Because its features are already established under capitalism, just unrealized. Social production is in antagonism with individual (bourgeois) appropriation. Direct social appropriation, combined with the negation of the value form of production (commodity production) and the abolition of wage labor, will lead to the end of class society and the emancipation of humanity. The forces of production will reach a higher (in the sense of its social potential rather than sheer growth) level of development once freed from the bourgeois mode of production. Only by overcoming the bourgeoisie in class struggle can a new mode of production be realized.
Thank you, this was much less autistic than the utterly unconvincing arguments of previous posters.
This is what I wanted to know about all along. What are these unrealised features of communist production that already exist but are unrealised? Could you elaborate on the terms 'social production' and 'direct social appropriation'? I have trouble with Marxy-jargon.
I'm a little confused, since all the components of the capitalist mode of production you identify are 'positive features', ie capital, wage labour, commodity production. But most of the 'unrealised features' of communist production appear to be negative, ie 'negation of the value form' and 'abolition of wage labour'.
Also, what went wrong across the entire 20th century? If the already established features of the communist mode of production simply had to be made manifest in society, how come none of those features were even remotely made apparent? All we seem to have gotten was capitalism with heavy state interference, can you point to some concrete evidence of this already existing mode coming together during these revolts?
What I mean by social production is it happens collectively according to a plan. It's no longer the individual artisan producing for his immediate locality; instead, it is the factory producing for a global market. The bourgeoisie centralized production in towns rather than it being scattered across various villages and hamlets. Manufacturing displaced handicrafts by being able to produce at a much lower cost by virtue of wage labor, as well as faster due to economies of scale; hence, production is social. Now, the artisan not only produced his own product but he appropriated it as well – unlike the proletarian he is not alienated from the product of his own labor. All the proceeds from his own production remained his own (excepting taxes). Direct social appropriation means we are no longer alienated from the products of our own social labor. All the products of society are held in common, providing the means of subsistence, while all have common access to the means of production, and production is planned in order to provide for society rather than to be exchanged on the market. This is contrasted against the bourgeois mode of production, which stipulates that even though the individual owner of a business has long sinced ceased to actually produce his own product exclusively from his own labor, whatever is produced by the business is the property of its owner – that's what I mean by individual appropriation. Individual appropriation is an anachronism in an age of social production, and it causes no ends of trouble. Production was socialized yet individual appropriation remained.
Yes, that is the case. Commodity production in the past was for narrow markets, utilizing individual labor, and using stable methods of production. All of this has been turned over. Value production has become totalizing. As a consequence, selling labor-power (the commodity form of labor) has become the sole function of the laborer. Commodity production inevitably ruins production for direct social appropriation. In a competition between the two commodity production wins, every time – its how it destroyed old, traditional forms of production (which weren't necessarily conducted for exchange). If your grandmother knitted you a sweater you can later exchange it as hand-crafted for a premium price – in other words, even things that aren't immediately produced for exchange can still be exchanged. Hypothetically, a diamond found on the side of the road still has value even though no labor-power was used to produce it. This is what's known as the law of value, which reaches its highest form under capitalism. It's inescapable. All things are commoditized.
In order for there to be direct social appropriation, there cannot be the value form of production. The two are in direct antagonism with each other. If laborers have to sell their labor-power, if things have to be produced for exchange in order to circulate, you'll end up with capital accumulation – the bourgeois mode of production. It doesn't matter if it's the state, or 'the people', or whatever who own or control this process – it is still a class society. Communism is negative in the sense this process must be done away with. Capitalism is in a process of negating its own foundations in crisis after crisis. It's become destructive rather than progressive. The forces of production are still developed, this is true, but such development only increases the antagonism between them and the mode of production under which they are constrained. Communism is intended to carry through what's known as the negation of the negation – instead of the foundations disappearing we reach a higher mode of production. With its own contradictions and issues, of course, but not specifically capitalist ones. Most importantly, an end to the crises which plague capitalism, and an end to production for exchange, which pursues endless, ultimately ruinous, growth.
I'll link you to a reply in another thread
Having read the above, you'll understand why that's all we ended up with. It was impossible for underdeveloped countries to create this new mode of production. It's foundations already exist but it does not exist in actuality. It has not yet existed. Theoretically it is possible, but sadly, for all the grand attempts last century, we still only have theory, not actualities. As for direct social apropriation – that has already existed for thousands of years. That is the one element we have in embryo, which needs to be realized in a new mode of production, in a new historical era with its highly developed forces of production. So instead of direct social appropriation meaning a village or a family producing for itself without exchange, as was done centuries past, it means an entire society.
Thank you very much for this explanation. It was very frustrating trying to get the actual meat of my questions across to the other posters, but you seem to have cut to the heart of the matter.
I like the bit you said at the end there:
That made a lot of sense to me.
I was one of the other posters. I was in a bad mood the other night, so I apologize.
I'm glad I was able to help you understand. Not many people do, even after reading Marx.
I'm going to give you something – a section of Engels' Anti-Duhring. The most comprehensive summary of 'scientific' socialism we have. Even today I don't think its been surpassed.
Everything I discussed is in there in more detail. I've read the whole thing but this is easily the most important part. I'm sure you'll enjoy it.