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(en) US, Los Angeles, Free University Lecture Series-Los Angeles 5/15 Connecting the Dots: Anti-Bolshevik Communism - Saturday May 15th 5:30pm

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Sat, 15 May 2004 10:21:09 +0200 (CEST)

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This discussion will give a brief overview of those traditions left of Lenin
that were denounced in his 1921 pamphlet "Left-Wing" Communism, An Infantile
Disorder. Also called ultra-left and left communist-or anti-state communism,
libertarian socialism, and also incorporating class struggle anarchism-this
tradition provides the most relevant methodological tools for the
revolutionary project today. It draws on the uncompromising internationalism
of Rosa Luxemburg, the theories of organization contributed by the
German/Dutch left (people like Anton Pannekoek, Karl Korsch, Herman Gorter,
Otto Ruehle, Paul Mattick Sr.), many of whom participated in the
revolutionary wave coming at the end of WWI and continuing till 1921-later
theorizing council communism-and the lucid critique of political economy of
the Italian left around the theorist Amadeo Bordiga, best remembered as the
last revolutionary to tell Stalin to his face, in 1926, that he was the
"gravedigger" of the revolution and who lived to tell the tale.

The strengths and weaknesses of these group’s ideas and practice will be
presented, as well as those who followed after them, like the European group
Socialism or Barbarism around the theorist Cornelius Castoriadis—who in turn
had been influenced by inspiring Greek revolutionary Aghis Stinis—and the
North American group they collaborated with around C.L.R. James, the
Johnson-Forest tendency, that broke with Trotskyism—as well as the concept
of the vanguard party—in the 1940s. Both groups had members working and
organizing in factories and documenting the wildcats they were participating
in, as well as theorizing the changes in the mode of production that were
going beyond the Fordist factory. They also articulated the spontaneous,
leaderless revolutionary potential of the working class confirmed in the
1956 Hungarian Revolution where within 48 hours workers’ councils took
control of all production in the country, before being brutally defeated by
Soviet troops. Johnson-Forest broke into the News & Letters faction around
Raya Dunayevskaya and the Johsonite faction carried on by Martin Glaberman
in Detroit, and later influencing 1960s groups like the League of Black
Revolutionary Workers through his participation their Marx study groups. Out
of Social or Barbarism came Guy Debord, who went on to help found the
Situationist International, whose ideas prefigured and whose members
participated in the 10 million strong wildcat general strike of May/June
1968 in France. Jacques Camatte, at nearly the same time, continued the
spirit of Bordiga with the journal Invariance before fading away.

Today, writers that can be connected to this tradition include Gilles Dauve
in France, Loren Goldner in the U.S., and groups like the one around the
British journal Aufheben, Wildcat—and a spin off Kolinko—in Germany, as well
as the British Wildcat and Antagonism groups. In France, the councilists
around Henri Simon’s Echanges et Movement and the French/Belgian group
Mouvement Communiste. Here in North America the ideas are carried on by Red
& Black Notes in Canada, Internationalist Perspectives in several places in
the U.S. and Canada, the U.S. Workers’ Voice here in LA and us, the INSANE
DIALECTICAL POSSE, in both LA and the Bay Area.

The presentation will segue to an open discussion of how we can use the
above ideas to reinvigorate the working class movement for communist
revolution, rejecting not only the mainstream There Is No Alternative dogma,
but also the dead-ends of leftism, which is often the barely veiled
continuation of the reformism of social democracy, as well as the academic
justifications for capital dressed up as post-modern discourse.

No holds will be barred as we discuss dictatorship of the proletariat, trade
unions as the merchants of labor power, the working class for itself—as
opposed to in itself, race/nationalism/gender in relation to class struggle,
uses for Hegel, the relevance of the anti-globalization movement, fictitious
capital, and the moral militant activist vs. the consciously dialectical
revolutionary—and their theories and practice—today.

Guy Ford for SF Bay IDP

Free University
This series of talks is intended for all non-authoritarian people of Los
Angeles who
would like to learn about/discuss some of the most significant instances,
movements, theories, and languages of liberation. Most importantly, the
presenters will try to discuss how they are applying these lessons into
their own actions toward liberation.
For more information regarding the Free University lecture series and any
other Free University activities please contact the organizers @

Flor y Canto Centro Comunitario & Bookstore
3706 N. Figueroa St.
Los Angeles, CA 90065

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