Today a post where I disagree with a spartacist sympathiser. He argues for a subjective programme ("connecting to the current consciousness"). I argue for an objective programme. Read on:
Originally Posted by Q
Originally Posted by A Marxist Historian
"Shibboleths," i.e. whatever slogan is most popular this week, is exactly what needs to be avoided. The political program has to relate directly to what is going on *right now,* and provide the bridge, the transition, to the struggle for the only possible solution to all the otherwise unsolvable crises descending on the human race like a ton of bricks, namely socialism.
Besides that you contradict yourself in the first two sentences ("we need to avoid the popular slogan of the week" versus "the program has to relate what is happening right now"), it is also problematical.
A communist programme is not about being "popular" or "connecting to the mass consciousness". A communist programme states what is objectively needed to get from where we are today, to working class power and towards the transformation to communism after that. Communists then set out to win the working class to this programme, not vice versa.
The problem with the conception of the "programme of the week" is that you never get to present your full programme. I once asked someone like you what was the real programme he stood for. After some insisting on the issue he replied something along the lines of "our programme is the communist manifesto, the critique of the Gotha programme, the theses of the first four congresses of the Comintern, the Trainsitional Programme,..." and the list went on.
It is obvious that this idea of programme is hardly very practical in that you don't walk up to your typical militant worker and say "well, this library here is our programme, read it now and get convinced by our ideas!". This is the reason why we only see "bullet point" "programmes" (or "demands") at the end of many articles of such organisations.
The problem runs deeper though. Because you have to be an expert before you can understand the "programme", this fundamentally disarms workers and exactly empowers the self-proclaimed "leaders" on the left, as only they know which part of the programme is applicable when. This type of programmatic conception is therefore fundamentally sectarian and encourages rigidity in ideas (and therefore an intolerance against differing views, as this would undermine the position of the allknowing leadership).
On a different level your conception of the "programme of the week" is also problematic as it attaches to the current consciousness of the workers. This is not a strength, but a weakness as the current consciousness is nearly always sectional, economic and non-political. To then attach to this consciousness you go down the economist path, by thinking that if only we "struggle" enough for our pay rises and shorter working hours, political conclusions will follow.
Even stronger: Once workers do radicalise and take political conclusions, the economistic programme-of-the-week is instantly out of date and instead of offering a way forwards, you are too busy keeping in pace with where the workers consciousness is at the time. A tailist method in other words.