A New Revolutionary Phase?

In the last few weeks I have started to keep a list of riots/insurgencies/confrontations etc from around the world. These actions include protracted people’s wars in India and the Philippines, the on-going revolution in Nepal, the “left” victories in Latin America, the Haitian food riots, the Italian ‘wave’, the Greek insurgency, the riots in the UK and France (the G-20 and NATO summits), the strikes in the UK and boss-hostage taking sin France, and the general strikes in the Carribean and France, the housing and anti-corporate demonstrations in the USA  amongst many more. Some of these actions have been precipitated by the economic crisis, but many have been against American imperialism. It seems to me that we are beginning to see a rising tide of people’s struggles against capitalism in the last months. These movements are not coordinated and except for some solidarity messages from student occupations it is not even clear that these movements are aware of the others existence. Thus the question arises is that whether this is really the beginning of a new revolutionary phase? I believe that it does. Although these moveemnts do not have a coherent ideology, the target remains the same, capital and its armed representatives. However, as I suggested earlier, at this point there is still an accumulation of forces occurring and the insurgencies have yet to gain enough power to actually tip the balance, save the revolution in Nepal and the ‘left’ victories in Latin America. Furthermore, it is not clear whether the left of today will be adequately organized to deal with the inevitable state repression.

This time around, similar to the Great Depression, I believe that there will be growth of left organizations as people become increasingly dissatisfied with classical capitalist arguments. The Left this time, however, cannot return to classical solutions as provided to us by whichever grandfathers and grandmothers that they have adopted as ideological forbearers. Rather, there must be a synthesis of past experiences but a keen desire to adapt our message and vision to the new subjectivities of the population around us. We cannot simply try to recreate the “Cultural Revolution”, or “May ’68”, or Vietnam. But rather recognize that there will be a set of new reference points for our contemporary revolutionary phase and thus there must be a new revolutionary theory and strategy for our contemporary period. However, I do not think that we should rush to proclaim the new Lenin’s and Mao’s of our era as some have done (Avakian, Prachanda, Chavez etc), but rather whilst developing new theories and strategies we must remain humble and try to learn from one another. Furthermore, rather, than revert to the bad vanguardism yesterday, I think that we should recognize that there are many contending poles of influence (parties, unions etc etc) which are organically linked (or not) to the masses that will influence and relate in different ways. Thus, the question of organization is not to be the bearers of Truth that lead the backward masses, but rather, the process through collective struggle of developing new subjectivities. Of course, this must mean that there needs to be organization with a fidelity to an event through a truth procedure, but that theory must appropriately and dialectically adapt to the new situation in which it will find itself.


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