A couple weeks back I read Kropotkin’s book Conquest of Bread, which I’ve yet to write up. I’m reading Foucault’s Birth of the Clinic, a book on Carlo Tresca, Capital as usual, and want to start the anti-maoist Mao biography that came out. Today in reading some publications by the part Iranian exile (ex-worker communist party) group Against Wage Labor, I was following a line of thought
On Conquest of Bread-
In lieu of a write up (I really liked it actually, which I was suprised by somewhat), I will issue some comments.
At one point in the book Kropotkin argues that there is (was) a tendency towards the decentralization of industries. In essence that means that industries begin as centralized in the countries where they develop or progress, but eventually competition spreads them worldwide. He gives examples from textiles to silks, etc.
I’d like to look more into this argument, especially in light of having read the book Forces of Capital (which Wildcat germany and Prole Position review and sing the praises of), and seeing such facts as that during the pre-world war I period there was more global trade and production than presently (though it has ramped up in recent decades). This makes sense when one thinks of the ages of empires whatever that means.
The context today has clearly shifted and radically, but how radically? Will it be that international competition will maintain industrial decentralization? In the high-tech/pay industries that seems plausible (it’s already happening to some degree in computers), but what about vice versa will overtime manufacturing return to the 1st world? I doubt so, but haven’t thought about it, and the possibility remains.
On the other stuff, I just want to throw a sketch down so I won’t forget it.
It occured to me that there are a number of conceptual and practical divisions in communist (left and otherwise) theory floating around.
This division has been largely rejected. Conceptually it is tenuous and predicated on things like the base-super structure distinction, lenin’s consciousness distinctions, etc. I could say more, but I don’t care so much about this since I’ve never clung to it.
The more important bit in rejecting it is the organizational points. Organizationally to reject it is more complicated. The simple version is when people say ok screw this distinction, I’m all for (a) comprehensive syndicalist unions or (b) the autonomous forms of working class struggles (councils or whatever is in vogue).
The complicated version is the same as above, except they also believe in external specific political organizations. I’ll get into this bit later.
b. Political (for lack of a better term)
This all is tied up with yet another distinction of mass vs. political organizations with mass meaning inclusive irrespective (varies what this means) of political beliefs, and political groups predicating membership on shared beliefs.
The thing that I realized in laying it out this way is that I’m not sure any of the distinctions hold weight actually. Damn I gots to run. All the pre-work training is bullshit. I wish they would actually compensate me for all the "education" i’m having to do to work.