History Matters

THE ILLUSIONS OF ‘SOLIDARITY’ -- PART TWO

By David Brown [CONTINUED FROM PART ONE]

To the Membership of Solidarity (London) 1975 [footnote a.]

This notice marks the summation of the many differences between one individual (myself) and the majority or a large section of the group. In one way it is a self-criticism, as its author was for several years (three to be precise) an active proponent of the “ideas” of the group, but only later found that the rigorous examination of these ideas proved not their efficaciousness in the face of the events since 1968 but their uselessness in dealing with events in general and a prolonged and highly detailed study of one revolt in particular, that of the Polish workers in 1970-1. Because the author was not privileged to receive any comments on his text on Poland, except those of any literary editor, he could not draw out any differences to any defendable degree of precision. The chimera turns a different colour not to please its own aesthetic sense, but to surprise a would-be attacker. Solidarity too changes its colour, from political group to literary executor in this case, but, like any chimera, it cannot change its species.

This author was thus obliged to reconsider the usefulness of any political debate over the many subjects he had raised and finally to make the outcome of the whole of this investigation known to those involved.

The basis and the logical (if not historical), origin of the positions held by Solidarity I derive from the attack on the critique of political economy, thus on the leading edge of “the materialist conception of history. “ One cannot use the word “critique“ for this attack as the attack is in no way historical-scientific but remains on the level of empiricism with occasional attempts at positivism too. The attack is sustained by a delusion: that Solidarity has understood the cardinal term of the critique of political economy – value. In the attack value is always skated around and never confronted directly. This a priori limits the best of critiques to making a few references, but the Solidarity attack merely scores points in an illusory game of its own invention.

The first case in this attack is that labour power is not an integral commodity, since its use-value is extracted in the course of a struggle, but a different kind of commodity. Also this struggle over the use and exchange value of the commodity labour power is lost by the capitalists "half the time" (Modern Capitalism and Revolution, 1974 edn. p.35 col. II, 1 ). Let us examine this.

Struggles of the workers, either individual, group or class wide, can only change the price of labour power. To change the value of labour power, they would, have to be able to travel through time as time is the only measure of value. To show that the average proletarian has increased his standard of living in value terms (even in price terms this is often very difficult), one would have to show that the average proletarian consumption is more values per hour of work he performs than before, i.e., that he consumes more hours of labour crystallised as value per hour of his work than before. Since the proletariat is not a class in constant expansion on a world scale and the hours of labour have been vastly reduced in the last fifty years, it is clear that the average proletarian probably consumes less values than ever before, while enjoying a better diet, health, housing etc. This change is merely a function of the technical development of the mode of production and the reduction of socially necessary labour time as a consequence. In no way does it contradict the law of value. This change, from absolute surplus value production, signified by the prolongation of the working day etc., to relative surplus value production, was outlined by Marx himself in 'Formelle und Reale Subsumption der Arbeit unter das Kapital' and in Theories of Surplus Value II. [footnote b.] The destruction of the law of value as it appeared in the formal domination of capital was also dealt with by Marx:

"But to the degree that large industry develops, the creation of real wealth becomes to depend less on labour time and on the amount of labour employed than on the power of the agencies set in motion during labour time..." (Grundrlsse p.704) [footnote c.]

"As the value of labour is only the irrational expression for the value of labour-power [see more on this later - D.B.] it follows, of course, that the value of labour must always be less than the value it produces..." (Capital I p.549 -- many other cases could be cited)

Thus the confusion of price and value allows for an easy “refutation“ of the labour theory of value on empiricist grounds. The political economic changes due to the movement from the formal to the real domination of capital (and this is all that Solidarity, in its confused way is dealing with) were clearly outlined by Marx and this is the point of departure of the critique of marxism (or critical marxism, the name means the same thing) and not, as in Modcrn Capitalism and Revolution, the early and partly negated Wage Labour and Capital [footnote d.] and the later but incomplete Wages, Price and Profit (there are 10 quotes from these two pamphlets in Marxist Political Economy (the title itself is reductionist; Marx never recognised political economy, considering it to be ideology, thus he wrote a critique of political economy) -- but only 3 from Capital, the most finished and rigorous outcome of the critique which partly overturned the previous writings on the subject.

Turning now to the second part of the critique' of the labour theory of value, labour power is paid for a posteriori and thus the individual capitalist has the ability to not pay for the hours of labour that he considers to be below the necessary level of productivity. If workers can alter the capitalist market to their advantage, and this is what Modern Capitalism and Revolution alleges, they would merely bankrupt the capitalists concerned and thus cease to sell their labour power at all. It is a complete illusion that anyone, worker or capitalist, can control the market as the market is the place where all the contradictions of capitalism work themselves out. Workers can never win under capitalism in any shape or form; the assertion to the contrary is justification for gradualism and reformism. Any so-called victory merely gives the illusion that capitalism cannot rearrange itself militarily or economically to resist pressures. Certainly the rise in the standard of living since the 50's (which is now ended for the time being; real wages have fallen in Britain since late 1974 according to the OECD) occurred, that is in the nature of the real domination of capital. But the illusion that workers are winning is too, part of the real domination of capital over politics and ideology. It does not harm the capitalist system to pretend that workers are winning; on the contrary, it strengthens it substantially. The resolution of this riddle is not in the anti-economism of Solidarity, but in the real practice of class struggle since 1968 which demonstrates that a new revolutionary movement has arisen without the illusion of “gains.“

The attack on the labour theory of value is only a prelude to a more general attack on the materialist conception of history. By reducing the general conception of the mode of production to mean technology and the word “determine“ to mean the same as “cause, “ a simple transformation of marxism into banality follows. That others, like Trotsky for instance, have already beaten this path does not mean that marxism follows in his wake. A critical investigation of marxism does not come from an interpretation of Marx, of the epigones or even of the modern Marxists; it comes from an analysis of the history of which marxism was an integral part, the history of the class struggle in capitalism. Thus the analysis given by Solidarity is not bad merely because it misrepresents and misunderstands what Marx said, nor because it ignores nearly all the important marxists of this century (Korsch, Pannekoek, Bordlga, the Frankfurt School, the Russian economic historians Rubin, Rosdolsky and Riazanov), but because it in no way relates the development of marxism into banality by social-democracy and stalinism to the class nature of these organisational forms.

One can show that “mode of production“ does not mean “technology“ and that “determine“ cannot mean “cause“ (at one stage Cardan realises this and engages in the phrase “causally determine“ which, apart from being a self-contradiction, is merely a sleight of hand to make Marx look stupid). One can show that Marx did not intend the materialist conception of history as worked out in Capital to be extended to all times and places, but limited as "my historical sketch of the genesis of capitalism in western Europe". [see footnote e.] He roundly condemned its use as an "historical-philosophical theory of the general path every people is fated to tread".

Marx did not worship capitalism as such, although he noted the progressive element of capitalism (as an aside, ‘progressive’ is always given a moral meaning in the attack on Marx but really only means self-developing). Marx called capitalism a destructive force (in the German Ideology) and a "Moloch" (in Theories of Surplus Value). [see footnote f.] But all this demonstration (as in the author's small work on Pannekoek) [see footnote g.] is pooh-poohed as its anti-dogmatic character threatens the doctrines of Solidarity. Those who were once soi-disant Marxists (actually Stalinists and Trotskyists) who were engaged in Diamat and its reductions and censorship now find it necessary to return to a very partial attack on it. [see footnote h.] This, of course, is obligatory for a group and, in this case, such an attack has to be made anti-historical to avoid the questions of what are the real origins of the group. Did it mark the change enforced by the class struggle or was it the offering of the faction fight in a capitalist organization (trotskyist, stalinist etc.)?

On the contrary, one can only understand Marx and Marxism critically-historically. [see footnote i.] One needs to see that social democracy and stalinism were always converging on the path of capital in general and thus had two conflicting tendencies:

1) The real compromise with capital and all its forms, as honestly performed by Bernstein and revisionism, or, Stalin and the popular front.

2) The purely ideological and programmatic attack on capital from the Erfurt “maximum programme“ through the social democratic gradualist “collapse theory“ (the material under-pinning of the eventual need for socialism), the support for “oppressed peoples“ after the first imperialist war, the theory of transitional society, etc..
These are the real conditions in which Marx's writings became theoretical garbage, not the resolution of a “theory“ into “practice“ of a self-contradictory kind. This allegation is an ideological fog which prevents one from seeing exactly the inner limitations of Marx's work.
The confusion between Price and Value already noted in the context of the labour theory of value is again present in the discussion on socialism in “Workers Councils. “ Here it is alleged that money, wages and. value all exist in socialist society.

First, money, about which many absurdities have been said. Money, or the circulation of commodities, allegedly does not have the same function under socialism as it is no longer "a means of accumulation". But in no way does this entail the suppression of the commodity form and value relations on which accumulation is founded. Second, wages. Wages are a commodity relationship representing labour power as a commodity. Both money and wages are vastly different from coinage "(which) is nothing but a piece of metal" and a "certificate he can withdraw from the social supply of the means of consumption as much as costs an equivalent amount of labour" (Marx, Theories of Surplus Value and Critique of the Gotha Programme). Thus we have a veritable Proudhonism of wages:

The good: "wage equality will give a real meaning to consumption, every individual at last being assured of an equal vote."

The bad: "money (as) means of accumulation."

The synthesis: abolish the accumulation aspect of money.

But one can no more do this than divide the two sides of the coin, one can no more do this than to transform bourgeois relations into communist ones by a change of name.

“Thirdly and finally one has to deal with the invention of labour value." Marx stated that "Labour...has itself no value." (Capital I, p.547) and "Value is labour”' (Capital III, p.815). Labour is the measure of value and thus is value, like the hour is time. "Labour value" is thus as scientific and decipherable word as is "colourless red". If what is meant is "value of labour", a common expression of political economy, one can recall Marx's remark, "In the expression 'value of labour', the idea of value is not only completely obliterated, but actually reversed. It is an expression as imaginary as the value of the earth." (‘Capital’ I. ibid.) Permit this too; one can allow the term labour time; Marx is attacked because Marx did not call for wage equality and distribution and accountancy by "labour value". Capital itself ensures the first of these more and more, reducing the mass of the population to labour, the second, in its deciphered form of labour time, already applies with the law of value, (it is certainly amusing to see that the law of value does not operate under capitalism, according to Cardan and Solidarity, but it will be enforced under socialism). In no way is this an anti-capitalist programme at all.
Communism is not a matter of labour time - "Miserable was the man who invented the clock" (Heine) - but of the development of the community, the relations of communism. Thus - and this is all that Marx said - communism was distinguished by free time.
Last of all, one can certainly agree that "many absurdities have been said about money", but the author [Marx] does not see how true this is.

The whole of the problem of “socialism“ here arises from the confusion of the mode of production of society with management. Thus one comes to the social theory of Solidarity: the abandonment of the critique of political economy and the ignorance of the introduction of the real domination of capital leads inevitably to the need for a new social theory. Solidarity is by no means unique in discussing the bureaucratic phenomena. Since the ‘30s the firing off of damp squibs on bureaucracy has been performed by academic sociology (Hawthorn Study 1927-32, published as Management and Work), trotskyists and ex-trotskyists, leftists of all kinds, laissez-faire capitalists etc. ad inf.. All these alternative means for managing the social problems associated with the growth of capital in no way question capital; they are merely debates over the many ways to prepare the sacrifice for that Moloch. Nothing in the theory of Solidarity on the bureaucratic phenomena could not be found in the research material of the ‘30s and the text-books of the ‘40's and ‘50's. Actually the problem as posed by Solidarity ignores the most important of this work: contingency theory and action theory. Also the descriptions of the work process refer almost exclusively to line-production plant, the most formally bureaucratised type of
production (see Woodward, Industrial Organisation, parts I & II).

The question of the nature of the bureaucracy and its historical nature can best be summed up by a few notes. (The author did this at an internal group discussion a year ago. It was obvious from the response that no one was willing to reconsider the problem.) Bureaucratic management has existed many thousands of years without in any way changing the different modes of production it dominated. Capitalist bureaucracy was the product of the industrial revolution, and not the late involution of capital during some mystical state capitalist epoch after 1918. The tendency for capital to centralise (as seen by Engels, refuted by Bernstein, and partly reintroduced by Lenin) was only one part of the more general tendency for the individual and collective capitalists to disappear and to have their function removed as well. Capital was depersonalised because the needs for its self-expansion could be found, in the changes involved in the real domination of capital, including the destruction of liberalism or political representation. This is the opposite to the process of bureaucratisation. Politics now is just a useless appendix to the situation blown up to look like the stomach. That is why the play over bureaucracy by all the political groups and parties is shadow boxing. Anti-bureaucratism can no more dissolve capitalism than the Wars of the Roses abolished the monarchy.

Self-management was not the abolition of the bureaucracy, an anti bureaucratic revolt. Self-management was a real part of the movement after 1968 and represented all the internal limitations of that movement at that time, and all the external problems too - isolation, domination by the ideology of activism of the leftists. Also many of these struggles were those of people united as consumers and thus very limited in their conception. Of course self-management has been “recuperated” -- as an “idea.” But the real movement is far beyond the squabbles of those who want to write the dictionary of the revolution and thus enforce their definitions. One can leave this particular “Dialogue with the Dead” to the dead. The real movement since 1968 has, not manifested an overall merely anti-bureaucratic tendency.

The countries with the most developed, systems of bureaucratic management where there have been large revolts, Poland, and Spain, in no way showed anti-bureaucratic tendencies. Instead these revolts confirm that capital, since it is self-expanding value, has to reduce all relations to value ones. This is the heart of the conflict.

One has to come to the nature of Solidarity in toto. Like all groups, the problem as posed by Solidarity is one of organisation and consciousness. The uniqueness of this group certainly exists, but for that matter all groups are unique. Since the group wishes "to make a total critique of their (those in conflict) condition and of its causes, and. to develop the mass revolutionary consciousness necessary if society is to be totally transformed." (As We See It) and advises that "the real" problem is ''building rank and- file organisations." (See Introduction to J. Zerzan's 'Organised Labour...') it has engaged in a certain activity. It has a programme which distinguishes it not so much from the other groups with their programmes but from the mass of humanity which never has any interest in groups with their programmes. The works of the group are advertised in the most banal, commodity manner: see 'Revolutionary Supermarket' on Solidarity Vol. VI, 3 p.20, and 'National Solidarity Meeting' in Vol. VII,6 p.20 - "...they (the 'marxist faction') had gone to the wrong shop (Solidarity), and bought the wrong goods - although the goods had been clearly labelled."

Because Solidarity made an abandonment of the critique of political economy the origins of its organisational practice, it naturally tends towards voluntarism and other developments. Because the organisation does not have any origins in the struggles, since 1968 in particular, it is not the historical product of the crisis of capitalism; it has to find another reason for its existence. Thus one has the internal hagiography and perturbing reaction to the past, such as to Third Worldism. The Third Worldism of Solidarity until recently can perhaps be attributed to the Third Worldism of Socialisme ou Barbarie, particularly those aspects published in English (Modern Capitalism and Revolution p.94 - "The revolutionary [sic] movement must ...seek to promote the solidarity of the workers of the imperialist countries with the struggles of colonial peoples." -- my emphasis). The same also appears in Redefining Revolution p.18). In Britain there are also examples of support for fractions of the bourgeoisie against others, struggles for bourgeois rights, voting for the Labour Party capitalists etc. These are too many to be aberrations. So too is the fascination with the “Left,” the endless attending of the meetings of the Left and the constant appeals, the latest being “Malaise on the Left.” Thus Solidarity finds itself as a shop among shops, a sect among sects and a gang among gangs. In this it is surely not unique.

Solidarity follows a path from an anti-historical attack on marxism to a sociological theory (from empiricism to positivism). It then continues to a voluntarist social practice, except when it comes to “nature,” when the most banal objectivism is observed. By cutting itself loose from any possibility of historical investigation, this descent is inevitable.

Like the rest of the groups, this prevents any appreciation of the society of capital and the communist movement that will overthrow it. It therefore finds itself outside the revolutionary movement in a cul-de-sac of its own making.

This author never attempted in any way to form any form or type of organised resistance within the group on the points outlined. On the other hand, it is clear that the exceptional measures taken against him and another member of the group [Joe Jacobs – eds.], the manipulation of the National Conference meeting on October 5th to allow for the attack on another comrade was perhaps the clearest case in point. Also the refusal to raise any political points on this author’s book on Poland, despite the considerable chatter about it behind the author's back, the need to ask for, repeatedly, a discussion on the text on Pannekoek and then to receive all manner of sophisms and so on, denote an internal orthodoxy of the group [that] has a life independent of the sum of its members. It is certainly unjust to criticise too strongly the philistinismism and extreme rudeness of the opinions of the majority of the group on the text on Poland (those who were not so inclined are an honourable exception.)
Sed caveat scriptori [footnote k.]

Under such circumstances the only possible course open is the resignation to the degeneracy of the group and thus to resign from it,
LONDON 29-30 November 1975.

ENDNOTES
a. All notes are added for this circularisation

b. See 'The unpublished sixth chapter of ' Capital" (ed. 10/18 Paris 1971) p;l91-223(in French) and. 'Theories of Surplus Value' Vol. II p.405-6. The first published text, which lies between the first two volumes of 'Capital' is essential for a complete understanding of Marx’s economic work.

c. Marx deals with the destruction of the law of value three times in this section. On p.706 he states it in the context of the destruction of value, on p.708 he deals with it as a measure of the reappropriation of labour time by the workers, i.e. as the revolution as seen in 'Capital'. But on p.704 it is clear that he sees that if this revolution does not come first; there can also be a continuity of capital in the overcoming of the confines of the labour theory of value, but not value per se.

d. One cannot base an attack on Marx's theory of wages on this pamphlet, published in 1849 and very undeveloped with clear contradictions with later works, nor on Wages, Price and Profit. which was an attack on the “iron law of wages” in a very condensed form. An honest effort would trace all the developments of Marx's theory of wages and then take on a discussion of this whole, without pretending that Marx never changed his ideas on wages.

e. See Marx to Zasulich 8/3/81 and to Otechestvenniye Zapiski 11.77.
f. See The German Ideolog' p.85 and Theories'of Surplus Value III p. 456. (The use of- Moloch also appears in Le Capital III Ch. XXIV, but not in the English ed.)

g. see note b. of the explanatory introduction.

h. i.e. dialectical materialism, the Ideology of Plekhanov to Stalin
i. i.e. as a critical historical work. Marx adopted some of the form of the critique in his theory, which was both a strength and a weakness.

j. Since this was written, events have clearly bourne me out. The expulsion of the comrade [Joe Jacobs – eds.] mentioned occured as the final act of defence against one who had only seldom attended meetings for some time. Undoubtedly this expulsion was seen as a method of protection from future problems, which it certainly is not.

k. 'Let the writer beware’'

Afterword

The reader, having digested this note or otherwise, may wish to end up on a practical theme. The communist movement I have referred to is as old as society; one must therefore work inside a history that is as old as that of society and outside speculative philosophy, the “new ideas” illusion (for it is only old wine in rejuvenated bottles), and the non-existent division of theory and practice, finally, outside the theory of the group too. For me, to take away Marx is to destroy part of this history and to develop the theoretical myths of the group and the ideas. Once again, the revolution comes from Aristotle, it is deeply implanted in society and cannot be subsumed under any theoretical aristocratism. I dealt with this before in a text circulated after the Day School in Philosophy in Coventry in July 1975. This text was posed in classist terms (capital-labour), which was insufficient, but did try to come to terms with the problem and with the interesting work of Karl Korsch. Solidarity never dealt with Korsch at all, except in passing and with incorrect characterizations (see 'Malaise on the Left'). Perhaps the perceptive words of Serge Bricianer can be used to display the importance of Korsch in relation to Socialisme ou Barbarie;

"Reflection on the old workers' movement and its theoretical marxist expressions (...) had already led the group Socialisme ou Barbarie independently to conclusions often near to Korsch's; ‘independently’ because this group, imbued with a sociologising prejudice and also with its ‘originality’ -- which is undeniable, but cannot be, by definition, complete -- had decided to ignore superbly theoretical efforts of the past. It was to deprive itself of previous elements of orientation even if they remained to be integrated in the critical mode.... On the other hand, the review (S. ou B.) gave, by means of abstract analysis and witness accounts, a depth to that infinitely flat being of the traditional doctrine: the worker.... Korsch proceeded differently; starting from the political concepts that had issued from the historical experience of bourgeois society and its critique, he prolonged and specified them, without ignoring the socio-economic context. Thus he dealt with the 'jacobinism', the unconditional delegation of power to a specialised body, inherent in the model of the bourgeois revolution. So too with totalitarian counter-revolution which accomplished the famous 'minimum programme' of classical socialism inside a re-organisasion of the capitalist system, And the analysis of this evolution, and evolution which our epoch follows and recasts endlessly, is duplicated by him into a critique of democratic, fascist and marxist (i.e. marxian) illusions, which owe nothing to the phenomenological category as badly constituted as that of ‘Bureaucratisation’, such as Socialisme ou Barbarie makes the deus ex machina of modern societies, irrespective of their various levels of development. (See Karl Korsch . Marxisme et Contre-revolution, ed. Serge Bricianer 1975 pp. 62,64, 65)”

This entirely one-dimensional view held by of Socialisme ou Barbarie -- everything in terms of bureaucracy - anti-bureaucracy and its later developments -- is completely confirmed by Dick Howard: "In discussing the evolution of Socialisme ou Barbarie, Castoriadis once remarked that they ‘pulled the right string' - that of bureaucratisation - and had simply and ruthlessly kept pulling." (Telos #23 p.119)

Enough said.

Appendix

“The philosophers have only interpreted the world, it is now a question of changing it.” This does not mean, as the epigones imagine, that all philosophy is shown to be mere phantasy. It only expresses a categorical rejection of all theory that is not at the same time practice - real, terrestrial, immanent, human and sensuous practice, and not the speculative activity of the philosophical idea that basically does nothing but comprehend itself. Theoretical criticism and practical overthrow are here inseparable activities, not in any abstract sense but as the concrete and real alteration of the concrete and real world of bourgeois society." (Karl Korsch Marxism and Philosophy, 1923)

This short text tries to explore the implications of the text Worldview, Revolution and Social Change. It is in clear opposition to the premises, method and theses of this latter text, but here the criticism is reserved to the relation between class struggle and worldview (Weltanschauung) as expressed there.

The worldview (Weltanschauung also means ideology) systematisation has, in all cases, a specific significance. The ruling class after (not in) the bourgeois revolution formulated a world view to legitimise their role as a parasitic elite that dominated humanity and the world in general and the proletariat, pre-capitalist classes and sections of the bourgeoisie in particular. Worldview was the passing-off the ruling class as a class that was both necessary and permanent. The bourgeois Weltanschauung did not make economics central (as MB and AO [Maurice Brinton and Aki Orr - eds.] say) but it made value, value relations, central: the relationship of humanity to nature (i.e. the production of real life - manufacture, sex, religion, state). As such it made the proletariat central, the only productive class, the only producers of value. For, to legitimise the existence of the bourgeoisie, the Weltanschauung has, a priori, to legitimise the existence of the proletariat, that is, a class exploited and de-humanlsed by its relations with other classes, with nature and with itself. The Weltanschauung was thus the codified ideology of domination and tyranny.

Resistance to such a worldview was a great difficulty. It is false and absurd to suggest that socialism continued to have a bourgeois worldview of economics as this never existed in the first place - as we have shown. All the scientific socialists at least were opposed to a Weltanschauung. After all, Marx did not write “Workers of the world unite, you have nothing to lose but your chains and there is my Weltanschauung to enact.” Worse than this insistence on the bourgeois worldview dominating socialism is the assumption that the worldview and social change are in close relation -- “both are essential” -- or that the worldview can be seen “in context.” Worldview is class struggle in its essential form. It is an aspect of class struggle, not a relation to it. This typical categorisation of the worldview and social change is false for proletarian revolution where it was not so for bourgeois revolutions.

Is there a communist Weltanschauung?

The proletariat in its class struggle has no other class (as a whole) as a supporter. It has no need to legitimise its activities to other classes because they all oppose it. If it were possible (and this author sees this as impossible) to formulate a new worldview, where would it use it, or, inversely, if there was no need for it, how could it be constructed in the first case? A world view is a pretense (conscious or not) to understand nature, to have a correct relationship to it. A worldview is necessarily alienating as it is based on alienation from nature. Communism suppresses classes which are merely reflections of human alienation from nature. It therefore does not need to legitimise one class to another (as already stated) nor to legitimise the human role regarding nature. This is also true for the struggle for communisation. But this does not mean that there will be no post-bourgeois Weltanschauung. But such worldviews will only be legitimisations again, this time of the soi-disant revolutionaries legitimising their ideas to the proletariat. Instead of expressing the movement of communisation, it will express particularistic alms and goals:

"It stands out that there is an abyss between what Kautsky represented as the nature of his own materialist vision and the remarks of Marx and Engels on the same subject. Never did the latter exalt the new 'dialectical materialist method' which they founded, nor ‘the communist vision of the world' which that governs, in a 'purely scientific doctrine' called such in order to provoke a 'revolution in science’. They left that to Eugen Duhring. Neither did they present their practical activity of their theory in the form of a doctrine that progressively spread to the mass of its partisans in a 'guiding' manner .,, They left that to the founders of sects.''
"What the end goal was for Luxemburg, the party was for Lenin." (Karl Korsch)

Remove a few names and there is the condemnation of the neo-worldview. This post-bourgeois Weltanschauung was the outcome of the “maximum programme” of social democracy in the period of the allowance of the “'minimum programme.”

Further, it is exactly the worldview problem that MB/AO [Maurice Brinton and Aki Orr - eds.] put forward, that expresses deeply capitalist ideology. Everything, philosophy included, has a use value under capitalism. The pragmatism and utilitarianism of the statements in “Worldview..” (which Dave Lamb's 'Philosophy' and interventions at Coventry deal with) are quite reactionary.

An Alternative?

Ours is not to pose a new world view, to indulge in Utopias and science fiction, but to see what is far more interesting, class struggle as it defines itself and determines society. One cannot have a worldview that helps interpret the world as it is struggles that describe the possibility of communism and so create views (even reactionary worldviews).

In fact, worldview [which] opposes itself to social movements as a worldview always has an act of finality in it; the evolution of humanity has no finality, only alienation as a specific relation creates a Weltanschauung.

.[ends]

RETURN TO PART ONE

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