spring 2011

No. 9: Communisation

This issue is about the communist revolution of today: communisation, the process in which the proletariat abolishes its own conditions of existence, i.e. all that which determines the proletariat as a class: property, exchange, work, the State, etc. The issue is divided into four parts. In the first one we discuss communisation as a revolutionary perspective today, as well as the origins of the concept. The second part is devoted to Marcel and the journal Dissident and their particular view of communisation. In the third part we try to get a grip on history and examine more closely the revolutionary movements of the past. The fourth and last part consists of a text which examines capital’s restructuring in detail – a number of transformations which together laid the foundation of a new relation between the classes and thus of a new revolutionary perspective.

Although this ninth issue of Riff-raff comes out almost five years since the previous one, we continue where we left off the last time. A lot has definitely happened here in Sweden and in the world, but nothing which has given us any reason to change our course.

Communisation and us

Peter Åström: Crisis and communisation
Communisation is not any peaceful experimentation with new ways of life, but the revolutionary answer by the proletariat to an acute social crisis. The text below offers a few observations on this connection in the light of the current crisis.

Théorie Communiste: The communisation perspective
No English translation available at present.

Communisation and contradiction

Tarona: Bolshevism without a party: A revolutionary posture
No English translation available at present.

Bernard Lyon & Roland Simon: Comments on Marcel’s text “Communism of attack, and communism of withdrawal”
No English translation available at present.

Peter Åström: When everything goes black, that’s when you turn pale. Re: Dissident 3, the introduction
Marcel and Dissident have apparently grown tired of the repeated promises by class struggle and now they don’t want to give it any more chances. They choose, instead, to bet their money on something new and untried, but they avoid the question as to why no previous movement has thus far ever discovered this method and put it to use.

Per Henriksson: Marcel Crusoe’s ex-communists in Intermundia. Notes on the discussion about communisation
It’s neither the practical efforts nor the will to live “differently” that is wrong in the dissidents’ approach; we all do what we can to survive the day, to keep alienation at bay so to speak. As a strategic perspective however, it is in the end futile and impotent, as only a communist revolution can produce different lives. As the expression of the disappearance of workers’ identity, it vegetates none the less in the borderland between the proletarian condition and the establishment of new social relations. In this context, what is interesting with their perspective is how it seems to be an expression of the struggle in our time, of our present situation.

Communisation and history

Théorie Communiste: Much ado about nothing
Russian proletarians of 1917, German of 1919, or Spanish of 1936, acted as such, they carried out the revolutionary movement which was theirs in all consciousness and all contradiction. The limits of their movement were imposed on them by the counter-revolution that they had to fight. What we can say now of these movements, we say now, and if we say why they failed we owe it to the combats as they were waged. Our analysis is a result; the result doesn’t pre-exist the thing.

Xavier Girrard: Communization and History: Thoughts about the debate
The theory of our time must be self-consciously historicist. Like Troploin, it must recognize that the proof of its authoritativeness cannot emerge from the theory itself, but will come through the moment of practical intervention; and like Théorie Communiste, it must recognize the coherency of each historical moment as an aspect of a continuous process.

Peter Åström: One step forward but just as far from the goal. Re: Xavier Girrard’s text
There is one big problem in Xavier Girrard’s text and that is the very point of departure, for if it is impossible to balance two symmetrically opposed errors, as Dauvé himself notes, it will certainly be less possible to successfully overcome a problematic which doesn’t even exist.

The restructuring of capital

Théorie Communiste: Proletariat and Capital: An all-too-short love story?
No English translation available at present.