- Category: Revolutionary Strategy
- Created on Monday, 24 May 2010 08:57
- Written by Mike Ely
Thanks to Jeff Weinberger we have been debating ANSWER's call for demonstrations for a punitive government nationalization -- "Seize BP."
"In the collision between “corporate power” and the “imperial state” — I feel it would be of no benefit to us to appear to be partisans of the imperial state... Seeming to be eager for government takeovers is one of the ways that defacto support for Obama sneaks its way into the politics of those who (in words) claim not to support this government."
"The supreme court recently ruled that for purposes of political donations corporations should be considered the equivalent of an "individual" and their contributions should be considered the equivalent of an "individual's" constitutional right to free speech. Well if corporations are individuals, why can't we demand that they are executed for capital crimes?
"Why can't we demand that BP (and Halliburton, or Blackwater) be (metaphorically) brought down to the public square and executed for its crimes against humanity -- its officers jailed, its possessions dispersed and sold off, its records made public, its existence simply ended."
by Mike Ely
How do communists and revolutionaries approach the formulation of demands for broad coalitions and mass movements -- demands and struggles that by their nature have potential support far far beyond the ranks of the consciously revolutionary?
How do we play a constructive role -- helping to bring people together in struggle, creating conditions for raising political consciusness, and helping more and more people get a sense of the nature of this system, and the implications of rather different political strategies?
Demanding Reforms is not Reformism
"...from Jeff’s perspective, why demand that government do anything positive? Since it’s the enemy of everything progressive, why demand that it implement progressive measures of any sort? Wouldn’t that imply that the state was progressive in some way?"
Carl has a cheezy habit of assigning stupid arguments (to those he considers "ultra-left") -- I find it a bit tiresome. Obviously only a fool would oppose demanding reforms. Demanding reforms is not reformism. Reformism is thinking (or implying or proclaiming) that the people can solve their problems through a sequence of reforms within the confines of this system.
The controversy here is precisely what Carl assumes: That the nationalization of corporations by this imperial state is "positive" and something we want to promote as a solution.
"End the war," "Legalization of the Undocumented," and "Free Mumia" are concessions from the state that communists and revolutionaries intend to demand and win. And there are (obviously) no reason why such a fight (or those concessions) would or should make that state look progressive.