Rob writes:

>G'day George,
>Very few have left, and those you name are still on board - my guess from
>the subscribed addresses is that there are about seventy of us here (some
>are subscribed at more than one address).  I know Bob's still staring glumly
>at all that late season ice and snow.  Can't think what's happened to our
>other quasi-Swede; ya there, Hugh?
>I dunno why we've gone quiet.  I guess we tend to rely on but a dozen or so
>regular posters, and it wouldn't take too many developments to alter the
>list's traffic.  A couple of illnesses, a couple of lay-offs, a couple with
>new jobs, a couple with the northern winter blues, a couple with difficult
>times at home and a couple in the final throes of theses and there you have
>it.  A dormant Thaxis.
>Nothing to worry about just yet, I reckon.


Happy equinox everyone.

The light's back, there's a frisson of spring in the air.

And this is going to be a hell of year as NATO consummates its invasion of
the Balkans and Indonesia goes belly-up with all the rotten chauvinist,
petty-bourgeois conflicts surfacing after years of comprador-imperialist
state oppression and equally many years of criminal negligence of the
political needs of the working class and outright national and
international treachery on the part of the Stalinists.

The Stalinists have no clout left, and the Social-Democrats are no longer
even pretending to be friends of the working class. So expect class
eruptions at the insults and injuries being planned and executed by the
Third Way thugs.

And all the while capital is manoeuvering to do just what Rob described as
constructive destruction, that is to destroy capital to get that rate of
profit back up. Trouble is that once the weaker states have capitulated and
been newly or re-colonized, the only road left will be WAR.

And chatting here won't help much when it comes to expropriating capital
and creating the only viable state conceivable for realizing the worldwide
interests of the working class.

Getting into the struggles will though, if we can combine the struggle with
a healthy Marxist revolutionary line against chauvinist and sectional

This can even be done by semi- (now ex- and pro-capitaliist) Marxists like
Castro if there are the most minimal conditions. Or Tito -- he spent his
time organizing workers and peasants and insisted on unity of the peoples
of Yugoslavia against the chauvinist chetnik Royalists and the fascist
Ustasha bastards, against the King and the fake government in exile and
against the Brits who wanted a bridgehead in the Adriatic and for land
reform and socialist measures for the workers. All this while Stalin and
the Comintern were shafting him by supporting the bourgeois-royalist
government in exile, advising him not to form Proletarian brigades and
insisting first on a war of defence against the Nazis that didn't get up
Hitler's nose as Stalin's great ally and second on the Yugoslavs (who
wanted nothing more than to rise against the occupier) hanging around with
their revolt till its synchronized with internal Soviet needs -- oh and
slaughtering Yugoslav Communist leaders who were recalled to Moscow and
then vanished.

What worked was a socialist and democratic programme against the
exploitation and injustice of the rotten regime in power, and a consciously
proletarian leadership ready to fight with the desperate petty-bourgeois
(peasant/rural) masses.

If bureaucratically deformed leaderships could do it in a world frozen in
the grip of Stalinism, British, American and Nazi-German imperialism, we've
got a thousand times better chances today, when the working masses are
awake and looking round for solutions.




"Changes dictated by social necessity are sure to work their way sooner or
later, because the imperative wants of society must be satisfied, and
legislation will always be forced to adapt itself to them."

Karl Marx, "The abolition of landed property -- Memorandum for Robert
Applegarth, December 3 1869"


This is published in the Collected Works of Marx and Engels, Vol 23
1871-74, p. 131, under the title of "The Nationalisation of the Land". It
was written in 1872 as notes for Eugene Dupont, the organizer of the
Manchester section of the Working Men's International Association. Dupont's
report at the May 8 meeting of the section was published in the
International Herald on June 15, 1872. This report, which differs slightly
from the notes published in the M-E Archives, is the text published in the
Collected Works.

                        * * *

"Though not in substance, yet in form, the struggle of the proletariat
with the bourgeoisie is at first a national struggle.  The proletariat
of each country must, of course, first of all settle matters with its
own bourgeoisie."

Communist Manifesto, 1848, end of first section "Bourgeois and Proletarians"

                        * * *

"The world political situation as a whole is chiefly characterized by
a historical crisis of the leadership of the proletariat."

Transitional Programme -- The Death Agony of Capitalism and the Tasks of
the Fourth International, 1938, perhaps the most important programmatic
document for which Trotsky bore major responsibility. Introduction.

                        * * *

And on  a lighter note:

        His lockid, lettered, braw brass collar,
        Shew'd him the gentleman and scholar.
        [Rabbie Burruns, The Twa Dogs, 1.13]

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