Meeting on Working Class Politics (January 18-19, 2014), Sevagram

Sevagram Gandhi Ashram,
Wardha (Maharashtra)

We are meeting again in Sevagram on 18-19 January 2014. Last time when we converged there in October 2013 we discussed the need to ground the organisational question and the notion of workers’ politics in the everydayness of class struggle – a struggle between workers’ self-activities (the assertion of the autonomy of labour) and their subsumption by capital. We discussed the practice of workers’ inquiry as a double edged revolutionary weapon that allows us, on the one hand, to “recognise and record” the politics in everyday class struggle and, on the other, to rescue the militancy of past experiences from forms that have become redundant or limited or have been subsumed/ co-opted by capital, while reconnecting it to the contemporary forms of self-activities of the working class.

The discussion went on to critique the vanguardist and statist tendencies within the working class movement that tend to essentialise and overgeneralise particular forms of experiences and reify the notions of state and state power, neglecting the problem of its reproduction in the conflictual realm of daily class struggle, the ground where workers directly challenge and subvert state and class power.

Our critique of organisational forms is not just a formal critique, but an attempt to deconstruct them within class struggle against capital and capitalism – recognising the fact that the working class adopts and discards forms according to the exigencies of class struggle, “the struggle of the present.” These forms, as far as they remain forms of working class organisation, must be (re)founded in the (re)composition of the working class itself. In 1881 reacting to a comrade’s suggestion to replicate the First International, Marx rebuked the idea saying, so far as such internationals or socialist congresses “are not related to the immediate given conditions” they “are not merely useless but harmful. They will always fade away in innumerable stale generalised banalities.” Therefore our task is always to understand militant possibilities – including organisational – with which “immediate given conditions” are impregnated.

In our forthcoming January meeting we propose to discuss the changing conditions of the “real movement” of the working class and “premises now in existence,” in order to comprehend programmatic possibilities that are being posed, in which we find the ground for our collective intervention. In order to pursue our task we propose following sessions for the meeting:

1. Regional/Group Reports
2. Introduction of electronics/micro-electronics and the recomposition of class
3. The continuation of our discussion on the organisational question and the role of communists
4. Networking among ourselves and beyond.

Comments

  1. kamalamenon says:

    This is a good effort to educate and the materials that come out of the discussion please be shared
    kamala menon

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