Friday, November 05, 2004

Why?

So, another (anti-)political blog. Welcome. I've sketched some outlines of my outlook over the last week, declaring myself against the Left, against the farce of the Presidential election and against the (leftist) political economy of the film The Corporation. The links at the side of the blog continue to give shape to that sketch by indicating the kind of thinking with which I feel most comfortable allying myself. One of the sites I link to is called for communism and John Gray's site defines communism as "a society without money, without a state, without property and without social classes ... the by-word for this society is 'from each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs'". Whilst I see communism far more as process than as destination, that "theory and struggle are a critique of economy and politics" is certainly something I wholly agree with.

Definitions raise as many questions as they answer. As a provisional gesture they defer certain sets of questions but encourage others. Some of those questions may be time-honoured (what is the difference between communism and anarchism? what is council communism? are you a Stalinist!? what do you think about a/b/c event? why do(n't) you advocate this/that?), but those questions (questions that one might call 'programmatic') interest me less - because their answers tend to the hubristic or emptily declarative - than more personal (more timid) questions about my own relationship to revolutionary/communist/critical thinking and whether, regardless of my own fidelity to it, that thinking - or the body of writing that I might claim as a tradition - is, in truth, moribund. What (I want to ask) is the use (and the use for me, here, now and in England) of '(world) revolutionary' politics in non-revolutionary (or post-revolutionary) times? What does it mean to have or hold views that seem to have little practical application?

I want to articulate/discover a path away from maximalist sneering ('we' have the answer, 'you' are wrong; world revolution - good, everthing else - bad), as against absurd avowals for chaos, uprisings, upheavals as it is against the quietism of pacifism or the disingenuousness of democracy, and for/towards a more humble, less masculinist, more open, way of thinking/writing against capitalism and for communism.