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Communisation SIC

Communisation SIC

AN EVENING ON COMMUNISATION

An Evening on Communisation: Presentations and Release of Sic Volume 1: International Journal for Communisation

Friday April 20th – 7pm

16 Beaver Street
4th Floor
New York, NY10004

We invite you to join us for an evening of presentations and discussion on the theme of communisation with the release of Sic: International Journal for Communisation (http://communisation.net). Topics include:

–         The periodization of the capital-labor relation

–         The restructuring and crisis of the 1970s

–         The loss of the worker identity

–         The characterizing tendencies of contemporary struggles

–         The relation of communist theory to practice

–         The Sic project itself

Train: 4, 5 to Bowling Green / R to Whitehall / 1, 2 to Wall Street / J to Broad Street

Wine and beer to be served

From the Editorial:

The present journal aims to be the locus for an unfolding of the problematic of communisation. It comes from the encounter of individuals involved in various projects in different countries: among these are the journals Endnotes, published in the UK and in the US, Blaumachen in Greece, Théorie Communiste inFrance, Riff-Raff inSweden, and certain more or less informal theoretical groups in the US (New York and San Francisco). Each of these projects continues its own existence. Also participating are various individuals in France, Germany, and elsewhere, who are involved in other activities and who locate themselves broadly within the theoretical approach taken here.

Communisation

In the course of the revolutionary struggle, the abolition of the division of labour, of the State, of exchange, of any kind of property; the extension of a situation in which everything is freely available as the unification of human activity, that is to say the abolition of classes, of both public and private spheres – these are all ‘measures’ for the abolition of capital, imposed by the very needs of the struggle against the capitalist class. The revolution is communisation; communism is not its project or result.

One does not abolish capital for communism but by communism, or more specifically, by its production. Indeed communist measures must be differentiated from communism; they are not embryos of communism, rather they are its production. Communisation is not a period of transition, but rather, it is revolution itself which is the communist production of communism. The struggle against capital is what differentiates communist measures and communism. The content of the revolutionary activity is always the mediation of the abolition of capital by the proletariat in its relation to capital: this activity is not one branch of an alternative in competition with the reproduction of the capitalist mode of production, but its internal contradiction and its overcoming.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, a whole historical period entered into crisis and came to an end – i.e. the period in which the revolution was conceived in different ways, both theoretically and practically, as the affirmation of the proletariat, its elevation to the position of ruling class, the liberation of labour, and the institution of a period of transition. The concept of communisation appeared in the midst of this crisis.

During the crisis, the critique of all the mediations of the existence of the proletariat within the capitalist mode of production (mass party, union, parliamentarism), of organisational forms such as the party-form or the vanguard, of ideologies such as Leninism, of practices such as militantism along with all its variations – all this appeared irrelevant if revolution was no longer to be affirmation of the class – whether it be the workers’ autonomy or the generalisation of workers’ councils. It is the proletariat’s struggle as a class which has become the problem within itself, i.e. which is its own limit. That is the way the class struggle signals and produces the revolution as communisation in the form of its overcoming.

Since then, within the contradictory course of the capitalist mode of production, the affirmation of the proletariat and the liberation of labour have lost all meaning and content. There is no longer a worker’s identity facing capital and confirmed by it. This is the revolutionary dynamic of the present struggles which display the active denial of the proletarian condition against capital, even within ephemeral, limited bursts of self-management or self-organisation. The proletariat’s struggle against capital contains its contradiction with its own nature as class of capital.

The abolition of capital, i.e. the revolution and the production of communism, is immediately the abolition of all classes and therefore of the proletariat. This occurs through the communisation of society, which is abolished as a community separated from its elements. Proletarians abolish capital by the production of a community immediate to its elements; they transform their relations into immediate relations between individuals. These are relations between singular individuals that are no longer the embodiment of a social category, including the supposedly natural categories of the social sexes of woman and man. Revolutionary practice is the coincidence of the changing of circumstances and of human activity or self-transformation.

A Problematic

This minimal approach of communisation constitutes neither a definition, nor a platform, but exposes a problematic:

* The problematic of a theory – here the theory of revolution as communisation – does not limit itself to a list of themes or objects conceived by theory; neither is it the synthesis of all the elements which are thought. It is the content of theory, its way of thinking, with regards to all possible productions of this theory

* The analysis of the current crisis and of the class struggles intrinsic to it

* The historicity of revolution and communism

* The periodisation of the capitalist mode of production and the question of the restructuring of the mode of production after the crisis at the end of the 1960s and the beginning of the 1970s

* The analysis of the gender relation within the problematic of the present class struggle and communisation

* The definition of communism as goal but also as movement abolishing the present state of things

* A theory of the abolition of capital as a theory of the production of communism

* The reworking of the theory of value-form (to the extent that the revolution is not the affirmation of the proletariat and the liberation of labour)

* The illegitimacy of wage-demands and others in the present class struggle

By definition no list of subjects coming under a problematic can be exhaustive.

**END**

 

‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Human Herbs’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h7tUq0HjIk (live)

 

‘Human Herbs’ – a new remix and new video by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au-vyMtfDAs

‘Stagnant’ – a new remix and new video by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkP_Mi5ideo  

‘Cheerful Sin’ – a song by Victor Rikowski: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIbX5aKUjO8

 

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

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Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Rosa Luxemburg

IN THE STEPS OF ROSA LUXEMBURG

Please get your library to order this book!

http://www.brill.nl/steps-rosa-luxemburg

In the Steps of Rosa Luxemburg
Selected Writings of Paul Levi
Paul Levi. Edited and introduced by David Fernbach

Paul Levi remains one of the most interesting and controversial figures in the early history of the Communist movement. As leader of the KPD after the murder of Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht, he successfully built up a party of a third of a million members, but by 1921 Comintern pressure for ‘Bolshevisation’ forced Levi’s resignation and expulsion. Until his early death in 1930 he remained ‘a revolutionary socialist of the Rosa Luxemburg school’ (Carl von Ossietsky), and was described by Albert Einstein as ‘one of the wisest, most just and courageous persons I have come across’. The first English edition of Levi’s writings fills a long-standing gap in the documents of German Communism.

Biographical note
David Fernbach, studied at London School of Economics. Freelance writer, editor and translator. Publications include the three-volume edition of Karl Marx’s Political Writings (Penguin 1973-4, reissued Verso 2010), and The Spiral Path: a gay contribution to human survival (1981). Translations include Marx’s Capital Volumes Two and Three, and works by Georg Lukacs, Rudolf Bahro, Boris Groys, Nicos Poulantzas, Pierre Bourdieu, Alain Badiou and Jacques Rancière.

Readership
People interested in Communist history from either an academic or an activist perspective.

Table of contents

Introduction

Part One: Leading the KPD
Address to the Founding Congress of the KPD
Letter to Lenin (1919)
The Munich Experience: An Opposing View
The Political Situation and the KPD (October 1919)
The Lessons of the Hungarian Revolution
The World-Situation and the German Revolution
The Beginning of the Crisis in the Communist Party and the International
Letter to Loriot

Part Two: The March Action
Our Path: Against Putschism
What Is the Crime? The March Action or Criticising It?
Letter to Lenin (1921)
The Demands of the Kommunistische Arbeitsgemeinschaft

Part Three: The Soviet Question
Letter to Clara Zetkin
Introduction to Rosa Luxemburg’s pamphlet The Russian Revolution
Introduction to Trotsky, The Lessons of October
The Retreat from Leninism
After Ten Years
Approaching the End
Return

Part Four: The German Republic
The Murder of Erzberger
The Needs of the Hour
Why We Are Joining the United Social-Democratic Party
The Assassination of Rathenau  
The Situation after Rathenau’s Death
The Reich and the Workers
The Defenders of the Republic
After the Oath

References
Index

 

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Karl Marx

REFORM COMMUNISM

Call for Papers:

One-day seminar/workshop on: “Reform communism” since 1945 in comparative historical perspective.

Saturday 22 October 2011.

Organised by UEA School of History in conjunction with the journal Socialist History
Venue: School of History, University of East Anglia, Norwich, NR4 7TJ.

The collapse of the USSR and the Eastern bloc in the wake of Gorbachev’s perestroika seemed to show that communism was essentially unreformable. It could be preserved, dismantled, or overthrown, but it could not be reconstructed as a viable alternative to capitalism, free from the defects of its Leninist-Stalinist prototype.

Prior to 1989-91, however, reform communism was a live political issue in many countries. At different times in countries as diverse as Yugoslavia, the USSR, Czechoslovakia, Western Europe, Japan, and China, the leaderships of communist parties themselves sought to change direction, re-evaluate their own past, correct mistakes and so on with the aim of cleansing, strengthening and improving communism, rather than undermining or dismantling it. In countries ruled by communist parties this process usually involved political relaxation and an easing of repression, and was often accompanied by an upsurge of intellectual and cultural ferment.

The aim of this seminar is to consider reform communism as a distinct phenomenon, which can usefully be distinguished from, on the one hand, mere changes of line or leader without any engagement with a party’s own past and the assumptions which underpinned it, and on the other, dissenting and oppositional activity within and outside parties which failed to change the party’s direction.

This seminar will explore different experiences of reform communism around the world after 1945 in a comparative context. 

Examples might include:
·        Tito and Titoism
·        Khrushchev and “de-Stalinisation”
·        Kadarism and the “Hungarian model”
·        Eurocommunism and ideas of socialist democracy
·        The Prague Spring
·        The Deng Xiaoping reforms in China
·        Gorbachev’s perestroika

We are seeking papers of 5000 to 10000 words on various experiences or aspects of reform communism in history, to be presented at the seminar. Selected papers will be published in 2012 in a special issue of Socialist History (http://www.socialist-history-journal.org.uk) devoted to the subject.

Proposals for papers should be submitted by 1 July 2011 to Francis King (f.king@uea.ac.uk) and Matthias Neumann (m.neumann@uea.ac.uk) at School of History, UEA, Norwich NR4 7TJ.

Attendance at the seminar is free of charge, but space is limited. Please e-mail us if you are interested in attending.

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com

Glenn Rikowski on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/glenn.rikowski

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Chinese Revolution