Everything must Go!

March 14, 2017 at 4:46 pm (Uncategorized)

My kids are in high school, and in high school Marx and Communism come up in a particularly bastardized form. Occasionally, one of the kids will ask, “What’s communism?” and they recoil in horror as I try to give them the short answer (usually about seven hours worth of monologue…) Still, it’s hard to sum it up sometimes.

I used to be a Trotskyist. Now, while there are different versions, some of the main points remain: Trotsky good/Stalin bad, USSR as degenerated workers state, permanent revolution, “Crisis of leadership” blah, blah blah. Well, in the mid 1990s, I began to identify as a council communist. Essentially, this meant a greater emphasis on workers council and a critique of the Leninist vanguardists (yes, Leon you too). In 2005, I joined Internationalist Perspective. IP was a part of the International Communist Current until the mid-80s. Were they left communists? Internationalist communists? Pro-revolutionaries? Anti-state communists?  Neo-councilists? Something else? Argh. Labels. Better to read our stuff for yourself than take someone else’s word for it.

Anyway, I’d like to also suggest people have a look at Everything Must Go a small collection of essays by Bruno Astarian and Gilles Dauve on the abolition of value. Dauve’s essay “The A to Z of Communisation” is quite useful. I don’t agree with everything there, but it’s a good account. Available from LBC Books 


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