Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Back Again

Toronto against the war

Some may have noticed a certain degree of inactivity on this blog recently . The explanation being that i was on holiday , two weeks in Toronto , Canada .

Needless to say , for SPGBers there is no such thing as a holiday away from politics .

I met up with John Ayers , secretary of the Socialist Party of Canada and had a chin-wag with him and also with an interested inquirer who he was having discussions with and who hopefully wasn't too put off by my gloom and doom .

I attended a rally about global warming ... which more or less added up to - join the Kyoto Treaty , turn the lights off and we can all save a polar bear .

On the 17th , Toronto participated in the world wide protests calling for troops out of Iraq and the end of the war which i went along to . All the usual were present , the Canadian equivalent of the SWP and of course those Commie Cultists , the Spartacist League

Became embroiled in a rather sterile debate about the potential possibilities presented to the working class by the Russian Revolution and also the relevance of vacuous slogans such as anti-imperialism with a member of the International Bolshevik Tendency but was pleasantly surprised when he recognised that my arguments were ones he associated with the Socialist Party of Canada . Small as they are , i'm pleased they still get recognised by the Leninist Left .

Bought a few books of course . Fromm , Reich , Zinn , Upton Sinclair , Jack London .

Erich Fromm's commentary on Marx's 1844 Economic and Philospohical Manuscripts drew my attention to these thoughts of the Moor :-

" An enforced increase in wages ( disregarding the other difficulties and especially that such an anomaly could only be maintained by force ) would be nothing more than a better remuneration of slaves , and would not restore , either to the worker or to the work , their human significance and worth
Even the equality of incomes which Proudhon demands would only change the relation of the present-day worker to his work into a relation of all men to work . Society would then be conceived as an abstract capitalist "

And elsewhere ,

" this communism [ crude communism ] is concerned; the category of worker is not abolished but extended to all men... This communism, inasmuch as it negates the personality of man in every sphere, is simply the logical expression of the private property which is this negation. Universal envy constituting itself as a power is the hidden form in which greed reasserts itself and satisfies itself, but in another way. The thoughts of every piece of private property as such are at least turned against richer private property in the form of envy and the desire to level everything down; hence these feelings in fact constitute the essence of competition. The crude communist is merely the culmination of this envy and desire to level down on the basis of a preconceived minimum. It has a definite, limited measure. How little this abolition of private property is a true appropriation is shown by the abstract negation of the entire world of culture and civilization, and the return to the unnatural simplicity of the poor, unrefined man who has no needs and who has not yet even reached the stage of private property, let along gone beyond it.
(For crude communism) the community is simply a community of labor and equality of wages, which are paid out by the communal capital, the community as universal capitalist. Both sides of the relation are raised to an unimaginary universality -- labor as the condition in which everyone is placed and capital as the acknowledged universality and power of the community."

Those who claim to be socialists such as the SSP and those in Sheridan's Solidarity should take note of Marx when they advocate a "workers wage" and a "workers state ".

Toronto against Global Warming


Duncan Money said...

Good to see you back, I was wondering if you had abandoned this blog.

However, it is depressing to see that the International Bolshevik Tendency are in Canada. How I love talking to them about Yeltsin's baracades, I still don't know what it means, every single time I meet one of them in public.

Darren said...


New York is just down the road. You should have popped by for a pint.

Glad to see you back to blogging, btw.