The Transitional Program

 

 

“Only the force of the proletarian State will be able to put systematically into effect the necessary measures for intervening in the relations of the social economy, by means of which the collective management of production and distribution will take the place of the capitalist system.”

Characteristic Theses of the Party,1951

1: Our objective is to replace the current mercantile social structure organized through exchange value which continually reproduces the distinction between productive and reproductive, mental and manual with a undifferentiated world commune established on the basis of a radical restructuring of the globally integrated apparatus of production bequeathed to us by capitalism

Theories of secession, “alternative” ways of life, ideals of autonomy and romantic individual rebellion are merely so many distractions. More then ever before the entire human species finds itself within the indivisible totality of a single social organism formed on the foundation of immense development in the forces of production.

2: The glorification of the local, of small scale communities, of multiplicity and pluralism is a retreat from any serious attempt to resolve the increasingly catastrophic material imbalances of a densely populated and technically advanced world civilization in favor of capitulation to the social breakdown capital itself produces.

Any effective and practical process of transition from capitalist to communist production relations must be planned, coordinated and organized on a regional, “national” and global scale, such a process necessitates as its precondition the armed overthrow of capitalist state power and and the total authority of the proletarian commune state over all aspects of social production and reproduction.

The idea of “communizing” single buildings or neighborhoods, groups of friends or photocopy machines liquidates the historical materialist understanding of communism as mode of production, a means of organizing the totality of the social organism in favor of a throughly individualist conception of communism as a subjective sensibility.

Hence the popularity of this idea in nihilistic and individualist circles who respond to the real horrors of “positive Marxism” with a fruitless and absurd search for pure negativity. So long as capital continues to be reproduced on a social scale under the protection of its armed state machinery, any talk of communism is completely fantastic, a material impossibility.

3: What is possible is the organization of proletarian counter-power within capital on the level of both mass organizations asserting immediate material demands through a practice of confrontation autonomous from bourgeois legality and of specifically political cadre organizations defending the communist program not as something possible now, but as something to be carried out once the proletariat organized as a political class has destroyed the bourgeois state and imposed its dictatorship.

The current task is the formation of specifically political and mass class organizations as weapons for the seizure of power in a protracted insurrectionary process culminating in a general expropriation of the means of production.

Then and only then will the way be open for the introduction of communist relations on a material and not a semantic level.

The proletariat is defined precisely by its separation from the means of production and existence a separation which due to the socialization of production by capital can only be abolished by the class dictatorship on the scale of the entire social organism.

Squats, looting, riots and so on may well be assertions of autonomous class power within and against capital, but the actualization of communism as a new mode of production they are not and cannot be.

In the final analysis the bourgeois maintains the smooth functioning of the relations of production (including the production of subjectivities) particular to its rule as a class through its monopoly of violence, through its power to kill.

Until the armed and organized proletariat has dissolved this power, it cannot make any move to abolish itself. The need for the proletariat to first organize itself as a class within and against capital and then to impose itself as the dominant term of the class contradiction has not been superseded by the development of capital since 1968. It is inherent within the capital relation itself.

4: This issue has been confused by the role of Marxist parties in the further development of capitalist relations of production and transition from formal to real domination on the periphery of the world system.

A further development to which Trotsky, Stalin and Mao among others applied the convenient label of socialism. However the universalization of wage labor, spread of commodity production, monolithic concentration of capital and dispossession of small producers from the land is not a transition from capitalism to socialism. It is a transition from semi-colonial and feudal dependency to fully developed capitalism.

The task of the proletarian dictatorship is not primitive accumulation of capital and extension of the wage relation, but the de-accumulation of capital through a drastic reduction in the rate of economic growth, and the proportion of means of production to consumption goods, strict restriction in the material volume of production and energy consumed and the progressive abolition of the wage relation through direct rationing of consumption goods, de-linkage of renumeration and productivity, and a drastic shortening of the working day.

 

 

 

 

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