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(en) Britain, Libertarian Communist Initiative - Statement of Intent

Date Fri, 08 Aug 2014 09:06:05 +0300

1. The established Left has failed and continues to fail to gather a response to the politics of austerity, and the global capitalist crisis broadly conceived. It has stagnated in the face of unprecedented changes to class composition and ruling class hegemony. It no longer offers the space or opportunity to build a revolutionary counterpower. ---- 2. Despite attacks on wages and conditions, as well as a decrease in the standard of living, the bureaucratised labour movements remain wedded to the ideology of class peace and the politics of social democracy. They pose no threat to capitalism or the austerity offensive, and seek to reconcile their differences with our class enemies. ---- 3. The 2011 August riots demonstrated clearly the existence of communities in which there exists a potential for the growth of politicised and militant sections of the class, formed of heavily exploited and racially abused proletarians.

4. The Left’s failure to seize the potential of this extraordinary moment was a fundamental mistake, and only demonstrated the Left’s real detachment from the people whose interests it claims to hold closest. We feel that when social unrest of this kind happens again, there must be a clear and determined engagement by libertarian communists. This engagement should build upon a strategy of social insertion which needs to be underway in the present.

5. Those sections of the class that inhabit the riot subjectivity are antagonistic towards capitalism and the state. They are conscious of those antagonisms and are willing to struggle against them. These sections will naturally include disparate groups of people across all sections of the class and have varying levels of political efficacy and determination.

6. These sections of the class often have internally contradictory ideas and we must recognise there is a difference between a consciousness of antagonistic class relations and a consciousness of political direction. We must also recognise the dangers of co-option by the state, the far-right and Left opportunists.

7. United alongside certain existing militant projects, we recognise those communities as being an arena in which protagonists in future struggle can emerge. Our role in these communities is not to sell ideology, but to present opportunities for advancing demands which can deliver socially-equitable gains.

8. We believe this strategy of social insertion needs to be occurring across both the class in its broadest sense and multiple terrains of struggle in order to bring lasting social change, but recognise the present need to focus our energies instead of diffusing them. As the riots of 2011 represented in some ways the impetus for our project, it is from the circumstances which brought them about, that we wish to begin.

9. At this stage, we believe it is essential to create a pole of attraction to regroup existing pro-revolutionary militants and tendencies, sincere in the belief of the magnitude of the tasks at hand. Many are and continue to be disillusioned in the existing projects of the anti-capitalist, socialist and anarchist milieus.

10. We have come to reject the anarchist moniker. We continue to take inspiration from the ideas, methods and heritage of the historic anarchist movement, but feel that the contemporary anarchist milieu has lost sight of this heritage in all but name. The contemporary anarchist milieu is not capable of learning lessons from the failures of the past, or creating new thought and praxis from the ashes of previous movements. Instead, and to our sadness, it increasingly manifests its political activity through the reproduction of certain forms of lifestyle, fashion or esoteric behavioural affectations. We therefore seek to inhabit a space that neither relies upon the ‘liberalised’ methodologies of contemporary anarchism nor the failed strategies of Left populists.

11. The Libertarian Communist Initiative is a medium term, pre-party formation which means to establish a pole of attraction for political regroupment which is capable of moving beyond both anarchism and Leninism. The Initiative intends to grow into a Libertarian Communist Party that can build on existing struggles and campaigns in order to pursue a clear programme for advanced struggle across all sections of the class and across an assemblage of terrains.

12. We use ‘Party’ here in the broad sense deployed by Malatesta, and do not feel this form compromises our libertarian content. We have never sought to build a mass organisation or union, and continue to reject substitutionist modes of organisation which prioritise the interests of the organisation or member over the interests of the class at large. The proletariat is the motor of social change and does not require being anything but itself, acting in solidarity against all forces which harass and undermine its interests.

13. Subsequently, we seek to establish a minority political organisation, the success of which does not rely in sheer growth and party-building. The Initiative will therefore take the form of a cadre of dedicated, energetic and disciplined communist militants who strive always to be allies to the class. Our affiliation to this cadre does not stem from our individual desire to belong, but always to a commitment to making plans towards building counter-hegemony and carrying them out.

14. Initially, the role of the Initiative will be to elucidate the positions of libertarian communism (both as issues of clarification and analysis between revolutionaries and to the wider public), to initiate, intervene and participate in the organisations of the class through social work, and to act as an example of influence to the anti-capitalist milieu as a whole. The Initiative will operate on the principles of theoretical clarity, practical unity and collective responsibility.

15. Ultimately, we seek a strategy of dual power that can escalate class struggle and build institutions of counter-hegemony. Over time we hope these institutions will seek overt and covert antagonistic relationships with capital and the state, and work to build unity and solidarity throughout the class, consolidating a confident counter-power that can seize and reduce the means of production and begin a process of social re-organisation.

- Libertarian Communist Initiative
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