Neil's Noodlemaps

Logics of resistance

1 Four types of anti-capitalism

This is a handy from Erik Orin Wright

Historically, anticapitalism has been animated by four different logics of resistance: smashing capitalism, taming capitalism, escaping capitalism, and eroding capitalism.

How to Be an Anticapitalist Today , Erik Olin Wright

1.1 Smashing

1.1.1 Pros

periodically there will be intense capitalist economic crises in which the system becomes vulnerable and ruptures become possible. – How to Be an Anticapitalist Today , Erik Olin Wright

The idea that capitalism can be rendered a benign social order in which ordinary people can live flourishing, meaningful lives is ultimately an illusion because, at its core, capitalism is unreformable.

How to Be an Anticapitalist Today , Erik Olin Wright

1.1.2 Cons

It is one thing to burn down old institutions; it is quite another to build emancipatory new institutions from the ashes.

How to Be an Anticapitalist Today , Erik Olin Wright

Give up the fantasy of smashing capitalism. Capitalism is not smashable, at least if you really want to construct an emancipatory future.

How to Be an Anticapitalist Today , Erik Olin Wright

Why not? Idea seems to be that defending such a revolution would be necessarily violent. Capitalism won't take it lying down.

"For we knew only too well:
Even the hatred of squalor
Makes the brow grow stern.
Even anger against injustice
Makes the voice grow harsh. Alas, we
Who wished to lay the foundations of kindness
Could not ourselves be kind."

– To Posterity, Bertolt Brecht

A pro-smash article: Goodbye Revolution? - Regeneration Magazine

1.2 Taming

1.2.1 Cons

Defenders of the idea of revolutionary ruptures with capitalism have always claimed that taming capitalism was an illusion, a diversion from the task of building a political movement to overthrow capitalism.

How to Be an Anticapitalist Today , Erik Olin Wright

capitalism is too powerful a system to destroy. Truly taming capitalism would require a level of sustained collective action that is unrealistic, and anyway, the system as a whole is too large and complex to control effectively. The powers-that-be are too strong to dislodge, and they will always coopt opposition and defend their privileges.

How to Be an Anticapitalist Today , Erik Olin Wright

1.3 Escape

See the book Walkaway, I guess?

1.4 Erosion

This is the solidarity economy approach I feel.

One way to challenge capitalism is to build more democratic, egalitarian, participatory economic relations in the spaces and cracks within this complex system wherever possible, and to struggle to expand and defend those spaces. The idea of eroding capitalism imagines that these alternatives have the potential, in the long run, of expanding to the point where capitalism is displaced from this dominant role. – How to Be an Anticapitalist Today , Erik Olin Wright

The strategic vision of eroding capitalism imagines introducing the most vigorous varieties of emancipatory species of noncapitalist economic activity into the ecosystem of capitalism, nurturing their development by protecting their niches, and figuring out ways of expanding their habitats

How to Be an Anticapitalist Today , Erik Olin Wright

The only hope for an emancipatory alternative to capitalism — an alternative that embodies ideals of equality, democracy, and solidarity — is to build it on the ground and work to expand its scope.

How to Be an Anticapitalist Today , Erik Olin Wright

1.4.1 Pros

It is enticing because it suggests that even when the state seems quite uncongenial for advances in social justice and emancipatory social change, there is still much that can be done. We can get on with the business of building a new world, not from the ashes of the old, but within the interstices of the old.

How to Be an Anticapitalist Today , Erik Olin Wright

1.4.2 Cons

It is far-fetched because it seems wildly implausible that the accumulation of emancipatory economic spaces within an economy dominated by capitalism could ever really displace capitalism, given the immense power and wealth of large capitalist corporations and the dependency of most people’s livelihoods on the well-functioning of the capitalist market. Surely if noncapitalist emancipatory forms of economic activities and relations ever grew to the point of threatening the dominance of capitalism, they would simply be crushed.

How to Be an Anticapitalist Today , Erik Olin Wright

2 Wright's suggestion: mixture of taming and eroding

We need a way of linking the bottom-up, society-centered strategic vision of anarchism with the top-down, state-centered strategic logic of social democracy

How to Be an Anticapitalist Today , Erik Olin Wright

He describes some 'real utopias'

3 Horizontalism vs verticalism

Inventing the Future talks about this a lot.

Kevin Carson gives a lengthy critique of some of their critique of horizontalism or 'folk politics'.

3.1 Some possible arguments for the party form

While the people who went into the streets were united in their indignation over injustice and their opposition to the old order, they had very different ideas about the future of their countries. When the regimes collapsed, the only parties established enough to take advantage were those aligned with the long-suppressed Muslim Brotherhood.

…the victory was the natural outcome of the inevitable schism between the nature of the revolution and the readiness of the Islamists for power.

When there is no single leader to focus a political movement — Khomeini, Mandela, Lenin — there may be more and faster revolutions than previously, but there are fewer revolutionary outcomes and scenarios,” Ullah writes. “So when a dictatorship – by definition and decree the sole and strongest institution in a country — is deposed by insurrections like the Arab Spring, what comes into the place of the power vacuum is not dictated by those who have created it.

An Information Warfare Power Shift Thanks to Social Media

Online organizing and propaganda can be legitimately useful for destabilizing regimes, especially rigidly authoritarian ones that need to strictly control the flow of information. But because of the speed with which it can precipitate change, it is less useful for building up the networks and organizations needed to fill the gap created when old governments actually fall.

An Information Warfare Power Shift Thanks to Social Media

4 Continuity or rupture?

Crisis will have to erupt, with some popular upsurge alongside it.

But you need need reform leading up to the point of rupture, otherwise you will be unprepared for the rupture. You have to steadily build and organise while preparing for it.

5 Insurrection or electoralism

this debate really shakes down into a confrontation between those arguing for a (pro-Kautsky) strategic orientation that seeks to combine electoral and parliamentary activity on the one hand, with extra-parliamentary mobilisation on the other, versus a (pro-Lenin) strategy that hinges on the need for the insurrectionary overthrow of the existing parliamentary state and to place all power into the hands of soviets (workers’ councils)

The Bolsheviks did not 'smash' the old state // New Socialist

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