Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Programmatic objectives of socialism today

Been talking with a variety of international comrades about new socialist programmes.
The big danger of writing a program as a small group of people is sectarianism if it is
presented as a party programme. A programme is really only something that a real
political party can adopt it.

On the other hand it is possible to put out a theory of what would be an appropriate
programmatic strategy for the socialist movement, without the pretentions
that what you are doing is writing an actual programme.

One has to ask what is the function of a programme in the absence of a party?

I think that what is needed is a theory of how to make the transition to a socialist
economy. This involves:

a) transtional economic measures
b) political changes towards greater democracy
c) a strategy of pragmatic alliances towards these goals

In the current conjuncture I would put much greater emphasis on some things
that I believe are missing from the old Erfurt programme, though the old
SDF programme in Britain had one of them.

--- cancellation of all debts
the great bulk of the population are heavily in debt to the banks
and so would gain from this

--- right of redress for exploitation in the civil courts
workers to be able to sue collectively ( class actions by unions ) if
they are paid less value than they create, recognise in law that only
labour creates value

These are both simple populist demands that benefit the majority of the population
and help create a high degree of class polarisation.

They are analogous to the Peace, Land , Bread demands.

The proposals on
the blog page http://21stcenturysocialism.blogspot.com/2007/09/venezuela-and-new-socialism.html
for the Bolivar to be tied to the labour hour serve two roles in this context

1. Anti inflationary measure
2. Propaganda against exploitation, it becomes clear to everyone that labour is creating value
and that workers are being exploited

Other things -- law against usury, prohibition of the lending of money at interest
-- industrial democracy, right to introduce workers control if a majority
of workers vote for it
-- introduction of capital movement controls in most countries ( in Venezuala, since
it is an oil surplus state this is not important
-- establishment of standardised forms of accounting for all enterprises
with fully published accounts -- essential to prevent financial fraud
and siphoning off of funds into tax havens

Note that none of this directly involves the state taking over the means of production.
The goal is to undermine capitalist relations of production leading to a syndicalist
economy as a transitional stage to a fully socialist economy. But the aim is to mobilise
a mass of the population into actions which bring them into conflict with the most
reactionary section of the capitalist class : the banking system.


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