March 13, 2011

Revolutionary theory and communist organization I'm back from England (well, sorta back, still in transit). Here Download Revolutionary theory and the communist horizon is the talk I gave at SOAS at the Taking Control event. A recorded version will be available soon. The version I'm posting is an uncorrected draft and the draft doesn't have any citations in it (which it should). On the one hand, the talk brings together some of my "What is to be Done?" and Lukacs posts. On the other, it tries, in this bringing together, to think more about political forms. Critical suggestions are welcome. Here is a paragraph: A central idea in Lukacs's Lenin is that the leninst party presupposes the actuality of revolution. What is the actuality of revolution? At the minimum we can say that it involves change, confusion, disturbance, chaos, and the possibility wherein tendencies in one direction can suddenly move in a completely opposite direction. As Lukacs makes clear, for the Leninist party, the actuality of revolution requires discipline and preparation, not because the party can accurately predict everything that will occur, because it cannot, and not because it has an infallible theory, which it does not. Discipline and preparation are necessary in order to adapt to the circumstances. The party has to be consistent and flexible because revolution is chaotic. The actuality of revolution, then, is a condition of constitutive non-knowledge for which the party can prepare. It's a condition that demands response, if the party is to be accountable to the people, if...
100,000 march in Wisconsin to denounce anti-worker law The huge turnout was in response to Friday’s action by Governor Scott Walker, who signed into law his so-called “budget repair bill,” which strips nearly all of Wisconsin’s 300,000 state, county and municipal employees of collective bargaining rights and sharply reduce their take-home pay. Workers flooded into the capital from all over the state. Many traveled hundreds of miles from Illinois, Nebraska, Iowa, Michigan and other states. Tens of thousands of teachers, firefighters, nurses and other public employees were joined by union and nonunion workers in construction, steel, auto and other private-sector industries. The resistance of the working class has popular support from doctors, professors, lawyers and small businessmen, including restaurants and shops throughout Madison that are displaying signs denouncing Walker’s measures. Hundreds of farmers from throughout the state, who are being hit by cuts in the state’s BadgerCare health program along with the rise in fuel prices, organized a “tractorcade” to the capital and carried signs against the law, including one that said, “Farmers know what B.S. is.” Despite the best efforts of the media, the politicians and the trade union officials to smother class consciousness with their incessant talk of “middle-class workers,” many signs at the demonstration reflected the growing recognition that workers are engaged in a class struggle with the corporate and financial elite. There were references to “class war” and the French Revolution and demands to “Tax the Rich.” One worker carried a sign with Marie Antoinette’s body and Scott Walker’s face, reading “Let them Eat...

Jodi Dean

Jodi Dean is a political theorist.

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