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en:communization-and-history [2011/04/12 17:05]
titorelli
en:communization-and-history [2011/04/12 17:11]
titorelli
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 :: **Xavier Girrard** :: **Xavier Girrard**
  
-===== I =====+===== I=====
  
 >​Supposing that I would be too subjectivist and TC too objectivist,​ then it would be impossible to combine these two mistakes and look for an adequate solution half way between them. You never correct an error by adding the symetrically opposed (and symetrically wrong) error, only by finding whatever is logically at fault at the basis of both. You couldn’t balance a partly idealistic-humanist method with a structuralist-logical method, and approach the truth by a sensible combination of the two. – Gilles Dauvé((Gilles Dauvé, “Correspondence Between Parts of the riff-raff-collective and Gilles Dauvé” //​riff-raff//​ 7 (2005), http://​www.riff-raff.se/​en/​7/​gd_corr.php.)) >​Supposing that I would be too subjectivist and TC too objectivist,​ then it would be impossible to combine these two mistakes and look for an adequate solution half way between them. You never correct an error by adding the symetrically opposed (and symetrically wrong) error, only by finding whatever is logically at fault at the basis of both. You couldn’t balance a partly idealistic-humanist method with a structuralist-logical method, and approach the truth by a sensible combination of the two. – Gilles Dauvé((Gilles Dauvé, “Correspondence Between Parts of the riff-raff-collective and Gilles Dauvé” //​riff-raff//​ 7 (2005), http://​www.riff-raff.se/​en/​7/​gd_corr.php.))
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 Dauvé argues that while communism has always been a possibility,​ its form of appearance has nonetheless always been necessarily determined by the material conditions of each historical moment: Dauvé argues that while communism has always been a possibility,​ its form of appearance has nonetheless always been necessarily determined by the material conditions of each historical moment:
  
->In the 19th century, and even at the time of the first world war, the material conditions of communism were still to be created, at least in some countries (France, Italy, Russia, etc.). A communist revolution would first have had to develop productive forces, to put the petite bourgeoisie to work, to generalize industrial labor, with the rule: no work, no food (of course this only applied to those able to work).((Jean Barrot and François Martin, “Eclipse and Re-Emergence of the Communist Movement,​” libcom.org,​http://​libcom.org/​library/​eclipse-re-emergence-giles-dauve-1 (Revised Edition).))+>In the 19th century, and even at the time of the first world war, the material conditions of communism were still to be created, at least in some countries (France, Italy, Russia, etc.). A communist revolution would first have had to develop productive forces, to put the petite bourgeoisie to work, to generalize industrial labor, with the rule: no work, no food (of course this only applied to those able to work).((Jean Barrot and François Martin, “Eclipse and Re-Emergence of the Communist Movement,​” ​//libcom.org//, http://​libcom.org/​library/​eclipse-re-emergence-giles-dauve-1 (Revised Edition).))
  
 And again: And again:
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 TC only reconstructs history to prove that communism will be necessarily produced in the present historical moment. One could just as easily restructure history to prove that communism will necessarily //not// be produced in the present historical moment. Such is the nature of history. For communism, however, the proof of the pudding is not in some constructed genealogy but in its eating. TC only reconstructs history to prove that communism will be necessarily produced in the present historical moment. One could just as easily restructure history to prove that communism will necessarily //not// be produced in the present historical moment. Such is the nature of history. For communism, however, the proof of the pudding is not in some constructed genealogy but in its eating.
  
-==== II ====+===== II. =====
  
 >​Whatever happens, every individual is //a child of his time//; so philosophy too is //its own time apprehended in thoughts//. – G.W.F. Hegel((G. W. F. Hegel, //Hegel: The Essential Writings//, ed. Frederick G. Weiss (New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1974), 264.)) >​Whatever happens, every individual is //a child of his time//; so philosophy too is //its own time apprehended in thoughts//. – G.W.F. Hegel((G. W. F. Hegel, //Hegel: The Essential Writings//, ed. Frederick G. Weiss (New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1974), 264.))
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 Each advance in communist theory neither adds to the essential theory written at some empirically defined point in the past nor represents an absolute break with that past; rather, it //​determinately negates// the past: the totality is not annulled but superseded through its refinement. For instance, the historically determined recognition that communism //cannot// be, as Marx once famously wrote in the //Communist Manifesto//,​ the “centralization of credit in the hands of the State, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly,​”((Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, “Manifesto of the Communist Party,” //Collected Works//, vol. 6, //​Marx–Engels,​ 1845–1848//​ (London: International Publishers, 1976), 505.)) but rather, must be the complete abolition of the state, does not abolish communist theory altogether. It produces a new communist theory determined by new material conditions that represents neither total rupture nor total continuity, but both as dialectical process. The essential is the coherence of the //process// itself. Each advance in communist theory neither adds to the essential theory written at some empirically defined point in the past nor represents an absolute break with that past; rather, it //​determinately negates// the past: the totality is not annulled but superseded through its refinement. For instance, the historically determined recognition that communism //cannot// be, as Marx once famously wrote in the //Communist Manifesto//,​ the “centralization of credit in the hands of the State, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly,​”((Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, “Manifesto of the Communist Party,” //Collected Works//, vol. 6, //​Marx–Engels,​ 1845–1848//​ (London: International Publishers, 1976), 505.)) but rather, must be the complete abolition of the state, does not abolish communist theory altogether. It produces a new communist theory determined by new material conditions that represents neither total rupture nor total continuity, but both as dialectical process. The essential is the coherence of the //process// itself.
  
-The historical moments determined by the capitalist mode of production are the products of the reciprocal implication of labor and capital. Each of these moments produces its own cycle of struggle and its own reflective constellation of communist theories which together take themselves as the //​authoritative//​ communism. In and through the material struggle, the latent but always dynamic tension between the two poles in the relationship reaches a point of possible break and the validity of the cycle of struggle and its correlated theories is put to the test. If the struggle results in defeat, what that communism had taken to be authoritative for itself is necessarily self-undermined and the relationship between labor and capital is restructured,​ producing the material ground for a new historical moment and, by consequence,​ the necessary appearance of a new communism as the totality of a specific cycle of struggle and its corresponding set of theoretical articulations. In TC’s words, “there is no restructuring of the capitalist mode of production without a workers defeat.”((Théorie Communiste, “Much Ado About Nothing,” //​Endnotes//​ 1, (2008): 160.)) As the supersession of the previous form, this newer form of reflective communism represents the simultaneous replacement and completion of that previous form because what it takes as authoritative for itself is precisely “that which was necessary to resolve the issues that were self-undermining”((Terry Pinkard, //Hegel’s Phenomenology:​ The Sociality of Reason// (Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press, 1994), 12.)) for the previous form of communism. But through the moment of struggle, the defeat of this newer form of communism produces its own self-undermining conditions and accordingly reconstructs the relationship such that the material conditions of the past are superseded into the material conditions of the future, producing yet another historical moment and, by consequence,​ the necessary appearance of yet another form of communism. The internal motor driving this progression is the class struggle; the unfolding of various appearances of communism is the material education of the real movement; and the movement of this real movement, as the process of loss and reconstitution,​ as the “path of despair,​”((G. W. F. Hegel, //​Phenomenology of Spirit// (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1977), 49.)) is the //​experience//​ of the real movement.((A path of despair, because, as Luxemburg sorrowfully noted, “To date, revolutions have given us nothing but defeats,” Rosa Luxemburg, “Order Prevails in Berlin,” marxists.org,​ http://​www.marxists.org/​archive/​luxemburg/​1919/​01/​14.htm. Originally published on 14 January 1919.))+The historical moments determined by the capitalist mode of production are the products of the reciprocal implication of labor and capital. Each of these moments produces its own cycle of struggle and its own reflective constellation of communist theories which together take themselves as the //​authoritative//​ communism. In and through the material struggle, the latent but always dynamic tension between the two poles in the relationship reaches a point of possible break and the validity of the cycle of struggle and its correlated theories is put to the test. If the struggle results in defeat, what that communism had taken to be authoritative for itself is necessarily self-undermined and the relationship between labor and capital is restructured,​ producing the material ground for a new historical moment and, by consequence,​ the necessary appearance of a new communism as the totality of a specific cycle of struggle and its corresponding set of theoretical articulations. In TC’s words, “there is no restructuring of the capitalist mode of production without a workers defeat.”((Théorie Communiste, “Much Ado About Nothing,” //​Endnotes//​ 1, (2008): 160.)) As the supersession of the previous form, this newer form of reflective communism represents the simultaneous replacement and completion of that previous form because what it takes as authoritative for itself is precisely “that which was necessary to resolve the issues that were self-undermining”((Terry Pinkard, //Hegel’s Phenomenology:​ The Sociality of Reason// (Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press, 1994), 12.)) for the previous form of communism. But through the moment of struggle, the defeat of this newer form of communism produces its own self-undermining conditions and accordingly reconstructs the relationship such that the material conditions of the past are superseded into the material conditions of the future, producing yet another historical moment and, by consequence,​ the necessary appearance of yet another form of communism. The internal motor driving this progression is the class struggle; the unfolding of various appearances of communism is the material education of the real movement; and the movement of this real movement, as the process of loss and reconstitution,​ as the “path of despair,​”((G. W. F. Hegel, //​Phenomenology of Spirit// (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1977), 49.)) is the //​experience//​ of the real movement.((A path of despair, because, as Luxemburg sorrowfully noted, “To date, revolutions have given us nothing but defeats,” Rosa Luxemburg, “Order Prevails in Berlin”, //marxists.org//, http://​www.marxists.org/​archive/​luxemburg/​1919/​01/​14.htm. Originally published on 14 January 1919.))
  
 Certainly, contingent reasons may prevent this historical progression from culminating in its resolution. Terry Pinkard explains the logic of this methodology through a simple analogy: Certainly, contingent reasons may prevent this historical progression from culminating in its resolution. Terry Pinkard explains the logic of this methodology through a simple analogy:
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 Moreover, this movement does not imply that the continual emergence and supersession of various appearances of communism at sequential historical moments is but a tragic routine without a definitive end. To begin with, because it, by definition, represents the resolution of the inadequacies of the previous appearances,​ the communism of the present is automatically a more refined communism. But on a more historical level, it is empirically evident that every restructuring of the relationship between capital and labor develops their dialectic to still higher levels. As a result of the defeat of all prior cycles of struggle, the capitalist mode of production is presently far more advanced than previously: spheres of once autonomous activity are now entirely subsumed under capital; more phenomena have become exchangeable in comparison to previous moments; the cycle of the reproduction of labor power is now wholly integrated into the cycle of the reproduction of capital, surplus-value is extracted far more fluidly, and localized poles of antagonistic accumulation have given way to a more globalized capital. Likewise, the development of the dialectic is simultaneously the development of its contradiction;​ forms of struggle are far more advanced than previously: workers struggle //against// the union and the party as aspects of capital, wildcat strikes abound, the council has lost its role as a panacea, and workers’ identity is increasingly ignored or directly assaulted by workers themselves. Moreover, this movement does not imply that the continual emergence and supersession of various appearances of communism at sequential historical moments is but a tragic routine without a definitive end. To begin with, because it, by definition, represents the resolution of the inadequacies of the previous appearances,​ the communism of the present is automatically a more refined communism. But on a more historical level, it is empirically evident that every restructuring of the relationship between capital and labor develops their dialectic to still higher levels. As a result of the defeat of all prior cycles of struggle, the capitalist mode of production is presently far more advanced than previously: spheres of once autonomous activity are now entirely subsumed under capital; more phenomena have become exchangeable in comparison to previous moments; the cycle of the reproduction of labor power is now wholly integrated into the cycle of the reproduction of capital, surplus-value is extracted far more fluidly, and localized poles of antagonistic accumulation have given way to a more globalized capital. Likewise, the development of the dialectic is simultaneously the development of its contradiction;​ forms of struggle are far more advanced than previously: workers struggle //against// the union and the party as aspects of capital, wildcat strikes abound, the council has lost its role as a panacea, and workers’ identity is increasingly ignored or directly assaulted by workers themselves.
  
-If contingent factors for failure are avoided, this process, of which the communism of the present is only a moment, will drive itself towards its own resolution: the conditions for the moment of supersession are implied in its very structure. But the //​guarantee//​ of this transcendence can only appear with the self-production of the authoritative mode of communism. Each form of communism can produce a narrative, through which the present is recognized as an advance over the past, but the progression “will only be an //​education//​ if the process can conclude successfully.”((J. M. Bernstein, “Hegel’s //​Phenomenology of Spirit//: Syllabus,” bernsteintapes.com,​ http://​www.bernsteintapes.com/​lectures/​Hegel/​HegelPoSSyllabus.pdf.)) Its verification can only be its moment of production: that is, the moment when a specific appearance no longer carries the counter-revolution in its essence.+If contingent factors for failure are avoided, this process, of which the communism of the present is only a moment, will drive itself towards its own resolution: the conditions for the moment of supersession are implied in its very structure. But the //​guarantee//​ of this transcendence can only appear with the self-production of the authoritative mode of communism. Each form of communism can produce a narrative, through which the present is recognized as an advance over the past, but the progression “will only be an //​education//​ if the process can conclude successfully.”((J. M. Bernstein, “Hegel’s //​Phenomenology of Spirit//: Syllabus”, //bernsteintapes.com//, http://​www.bernsteintapes.com/​lectures/​Hegel/​HegelPoSSyllabus.pdf.)) Its verification can only be its moment of production: that is, the moment when a specific appearance no longer carries the counter-revolution in its essence.
  
 This produced overcoming, if it arrives, will be the annulment of class struggle as the self-generating force moving the entire dialectic. Itself a product of the dialectic of capital, because class struggle is both that which can either develop the entire dialectic to still higher levels, or that which can point outside of it as its moment of overcoming, communism is necessarily the negation of class struggle. But because class struggle is the immanent mechanism that moves history, its abolition is therefore the abolition of history, or more precisely, the supersession of the pre-history of humanity. This produced overcoming, if it arrives, will be the annulment of class struggle as the self-generating force moving the entire dialectic. Itself a product of the dialectic of capital, because class struggle is both that which can either develop the entire dialectic to still higher levels, or that which can point outside of it as its moment of overcoming, communism is necessarily the negation of class struggle. But because class struggle is the immanent mechanism that moves history, its abolition is therefore the abolition of history, or more precisely, the supersession of the pre-history of humanity.
  
-===== III =====+===== III=====
  
->The emergence of Marxist theory is, in Hegelian-Marxist terms, only the other side’ of the emergence of the real proletarian movement; it is both sides together that comprise the concrete totality of the historical process. – Karl Korsch((Karl Korsch, //Marxism and Philosophy//​ (London: NLB, 1970), 42.))+>The emergence of Marxist theory is, in Hegelian-Marxist terms, only the "other side" ​of the emergence of the real proletarian movement; it is both sides together that comprise the concrete totality of the historical process. – Karl Korsch((Karl Korsch, //Marxism and Philosophy//​ (London: NLB, 1970), 42.))
  
 Communist theory is a necessary product of the capitalist mode of production. Just as the dialectic between capital and labor generates the real movement as its projective tension, so too does it necessarily generate a constellation of theories that reflect on this movement in its total context. But as products of the capitalist mode of production the two are unavoidably separated because capital is itself the separation of theory from practice, of material labor from intellectual labor, of reified activities from the whole: Communist theory is a necessary product of the capitalist mode of production. Just as the dialectic between capital and labor generates the real movement as its projective tension, so too does it necessarily generate a constellation of theories that reflect on this movement in its total context. But as products of the capitalist mode of production the two are unavoidably separated because capital is itself the separation of theory from practice, of material labor from intellectual labor, of reified activities from the whole: