March 29, 2013

Paris Commune Marx, 1871: The antagonism of the Commune against the state power has been mistaken for an exagerrated form of the ancient struggle against over-centralization. Peculiar historical circumstances may have prevented the classical development, as in France, of the bourgeois form of government, and may have allowed, as in England, to complete the great central state organs by corrupt vestries, jobbing councillors, and ferocious poor-law guardians in the towns, and virtually hereditary magistrates in the counties. The multiplicity of interpretations to which the Commune has been subjected, and the multiplicity of interests which construed it in their favor, show that it was a thoroughly expansive political form, while all the previous forms of government had been emphatically repressive. Its true secret was this: It was essentially a working class government, the product of the struggle of the producing against the appropriating class, the political form at last discovered under which to work out the economical emancipation of labor. Except on this last condition, the Communal Constitution would have been an impossibility and a delusion. The political rule of the producer cannot co-exist with the perpetuation of his social slavery. The Commune was therefore to serve as a lever for uprooting the economical foundation upon which rests the existence of classes, and therefore of class rule. With labor emancipated, every man becomes a working man, and productive labor ceases to be a class attribute. It is a strange fact. In spite of all the tall talk and all the immense literature, for...
New law granting Detroit emergency manager sweeping authority goes into effect - World Socialist Web Site Public Act (PA) 436, which was pushed through by the Republican-controlled state legislature after voters defeated a similar measure in November, gives emergency managers in six Michigan cities and three school districts authority to slash budgets, reopen labor agreements, impose unilateral concessions and shut down or privatize city departments and services. The measure is aimed at establishing what amounts to a financial dictator in Detroit, with the aim of using the city as a test case for imposing deeply unpopular measures in line with what is occurring in Cyprus, Greece and other European countries. The entire political establishment, Democrat and Republican, is engaged in a conspiracy toward workers in the city. Governor Rick Snyder, a multi-millionaire former venture capitalist and Republican, and Democratic Treasury Secretary Andy Dillon have turned over control of Detroit to a Washington, DC bankruptcy attorney whose former law firm represents the same Wall Street investment houses that control Detroit’s municipal bonds and other debt. Kevyn Orr, a lifelong Democrat, is a former law partner of Cleveland-based Jones Day, which has represented Citigroup, UBS AG, JPMorgan Chase and other banks that hold much of the city’s $8.6 billion in long-term bond debt. His appointment immediately led to an upgrade in Detroit’s credit rating from negative to stable, as investors anticipated he would oversee their repayment by intensifying the attack on the working class. Detroit’s Democratic mayor, David Bing, hired Orr’s former law firm as a “restructuring” consultant earlier this month before his appointment as emergency manager. Bing...

Jodi Dean

Jodi Dean is a political theorist.

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