Albert Rhys-Williams and Russian Revolution
Lenin, the man and his work
The Bolsheviks and the Soviets
Through the Russian Revolution
Source : https://www.marxists.org/archive/williams/index.htm
Home > 000- ENGLISH - MATTER AND REVOLUTION
000- ENGLISH - MATTER AND REVOLUTION
"Our demands most moderate are :
We only want the earth!"
(Traduction : Nos revendications les plus modérées : nous revendiquons le monde entier !)
Workers, we shall save ourselves !
....... FROM UNIVERSE TO NERVOUS SYSTEM ......
"If simple mechanical change of place contains a contradiction, this is even more true of the higher forms of motion of matter, and especially of organic life and its development. ... life consists precisely and primarily in this—that a being is at each moment itself and yet something else. Life is therefore also a contradiction which is present in things and processes themselves, and which constantly originates and resolves itself; and as soon as the contradiction ceases, life, too, comes to an end, and death steps in. We likewise saw that also in the sphere of thought we could not escape contradictions."
Contribution to the debate on the dialectics of philosophy concerning the mode of formation and transformation of matter, life, man and society
The work we publish here is rather incomplete in its conception as in its writing. However, the importance of the topic, the necessity of plenty of work, justify that this text has to be published without delay. It will gradually be completed and corrected. The subject, the revolution, is not a theme so common, including in the country often described as that of the French Revolution. After experiences like Stalinism, Maoism and the various so-called "versions" of socialism and communism, the significance of the social revolution has been lost or distorted. As a consequence, for many workers, class struggles has only purposes of employment or wages, and they do not see themselves, as oppressed class, the most powerful in history, able, at the international level, to free mankind from oppression and exploitation. We must not conceive this movement of class consciousness as a linear decline.
Similarly one should not interpret the movement that emerged from Marx to Lenin and Trotsky, or from Paris Commune of 1871 to the revolution in Russia in 1917 and Europe in 1918-1920, as a continous rise. The movement of history, that of struggles, that of class consciousness, that of the class, these three movements which are not similar, do not follow a gradual course, but are experiencing sudden jumps. And sometimes, there are brutal falling. Today, after the decline of the illusions about social democracy (in the service of the big business since the first world war) about Stalinism (the main anti-communist force since 1925), and about nationalism in the Third World (in power since the Second World War), a new cycle seems to emerge. Illusions about capitalism are also falling (even in Eastern Europe), and a new Anticapitalism seems being reborn in a new generation of working-class in the world. This does not mean that a new understanding of the world arise, directly and spontaneously, and new deceptions may well replace the old ones. Anticapitalism, in fashion today, is a composite motion which does not develop a clear awareness of the need to finally overthrow capitalism and replace it with the power of workers. This movement does not allow an understanding of the role of the bourgeois State, since it professes a defense of civic bourgeois democracy. No matter, such as for anticapitalist, and even less for the globalists, of the destruction of the bourgeois State, and especially no idea of establishing a power to workers. The question of private ownership of major means of production is not considered. We notice that, in new colors and new shapes, it is possible for this critique of capitalism to be fundamentally Reformist, ie for the rescue of capitalism by making it acceptable to the oppressed masses. The ideas of "sustainable development", of altermondialisme of "decay", of "defense of the planet" are new ways to divert the class struggle by claiming that all men are responsible for the destruction caused by the large capital. Capitalism "ethical", "sustainable" green "," of solidarity "," regulated ", the alter-capitalism in short, is a new form of reformist illusion that refuses to take into account the class basis of capitalism and its consequence: the need for the exploited to overthrow this system. New kinds of reforms, of nationalism, of Stalinism, of religious or of other reactionnary ideologies may appear, diverting the new social movements. There will be no purely spontaneous birth of a new critical analysis of the system. And this comes at a time when a new crisis of capitalism is on the horizon, pregnant with new sacrifices for the oppressed but also new big revolutions, ie new opportunities to end definitively with the exploitation of man by man.
It is important to rethink (ie rebuild) what really means that socialism and the revolution in the world today. For too many years, the revolutionaries themselves, without revolutions, have turned to sustain of armed struggle (guerrilla had nothing to do with the action of the proletariat), or alternative forms of dispute classist (altermondialisme, ecology), or towards forms of accommodation critical to the system (trade unionism, electioneering). In all this, the revolution (and the first destruction of the bourgeois State and the economic capital) is forgotten. This issue is not even considered or discussed publicly, whether in the name of a species of realism (the revolution is not on the agenda), or a waiver to this more open perspective.
In this study, we call “revolution”, a crisis in which the oppressed don’t continue to follow the ideas and organizations of the ruling class, are beginning by themselves organized, in a totally new and emerging, in terms of the defense of their own class interests and, above all, implement their own decisions, creating a situation of dual power brings the possibility of radical change in the course of history, to a power of workers. This definition does not give central importance to the violence (the so-called armed struggle) as the basic criterion, but rather underlines the radical political and social content given by the oppressed themselves, and the rapid destruction of the real foundations of the old order. In its broadest sense, science calls "revolution" any transition in which the order may change qualitatively and brutally. More importantly, we call “revolution” a transformation that leads to the sudden emergence of a qualitatively new result of the turmoil and contradictions at the lower hierarchical level, also called self-organization. So, this process involves both the different areas of science. The policy is particularly concerned by the issue of self-organization of the proletariat. Remind the expression that gave Karl Marx: "Socialism will be the work of the workers themselves." To prepare for a new power, farmers need to rediscover a sense of collective organization and trust in their own forces.
This text attempts to draw general lessons, philosophical, recent science, natural, historical, economic, and social. Scientific decoveries, which advance our knowledge and expertise, influence also our philosophy of the world. At least, they should do it. The popularization of science reaches a wide audience, but from the philosophy of science is not disseminated. Scientific thinking has qualitatively changed, even if the general public, inundated with technical information, often ignore it. Science is no longer based on fixed objects, or on a fixed agenda, but the organization of spontaneous disorder of many interacting elements. The material is no longer regarded as an inert mass, but as the product of a collective dynamic extraordinarily turbulent. Abrupt reversal of the structures, the revolution is a process of construction by the spontaneous unrest underlying new structures, called emergence. Understanding this revolutionary mechanism of historical phenomena of nature is not obvious and does not derive directly from observation. It requires an effort of philosophical conceptualization. Old diametral oppositions between inert and living, between life and death, between order and disorder, between destruction and construction, between chance and necessity, are now obsolete. Overcoming these old dichotomies, the new scientific philosophy recognizes the links between determinism and contingency, between law and disorder, between singularity and universality, between atomism and vitalism, and between materialism and creation. Conceive the dynamics, the task is tough but the elements are provided by the science itself.
Reflection upon the active process of nature, the rhythms of its historical movement, carries a way of thinking which is essential, both in science for the study of human society. The ability of the oppressed class to build their own power depends on their political experience, participation, active, organized and aware of their own struggles. A class is not just constituted by several men who have the same material interests. It is primarily a conscience, made of failures, of hopes, of attempts, of potential, of ideas and perspectives. The mechanism of emergence of class consciousness and the functioning dynamics of matter, constantly transformed by the interaction between virtual and real, between destruction and construction, in permanent revolution, are the same type.
The understanding of the revolution is of vital importance to the scientific thought as to the political and social action. It is particularly important for the labor movement, who is a victim of the ideologies of order and reform, advocates of the continuity of the State. The a priori of continuous progress and the prejudice between abrupt change, is widely spread, by scientists as the political and social rights, social democrats, associations, environmentalists, alter-globalization, trade unionists or Stalinists. The idea of the centrality of the working class to change the course of human society is strongly opposed. The consciousness of the oppressed class is primarily dependent on its understanding of its capacity to transform the world. The revolution, misunderstood, is often rejected. The meeting of communist ideas and live revolutionary proletariat remains the main potentially deadly for the exploiters and the only prospect for exploitation.
This text is subject to reflection, criticism of all. It may be freely quoted, published and translated. No copyright for any country. Send any comments and criticisms to the authors Robert Paris and Tiekoura Levi Hamed.
MATIERE ET REVOLUTION
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Prolétaires, sauvons nous nous-mêmes !