LEST WE FORGET, we are planetary.

If and when we care enough and pause for a moment to contemplate the seemingly never-ending gratuitous violence, death and destruction that we humans inflict on ourselves, we should not forget that ultimately we are all in a biological relationship with each other. In this sense, at the very least, we all come from and return to the same planetary place. Why then do some of us behave so badly toward others, including the ‘other’ than human species? My short answer is that most of us have been persuaded to forget that we are first and foremost a planetary being. My longer answer is that since we as a species have allowed – even encouraged, the emergence from within our midst of so-called ‘ruling classes’ many millions of our fellow beings have been involved in the seemingly deliberate violence, death and destruction that takes place between conflicting international ruling classes.

Nowadays it is the international ruling class that deliberately maintain their military capacity to defend and or attack their international counterparts as and when they deem it necessary. The reason for this is that ultimately none of them can afford to trust each other. We can safely assume that the international ruling class as a whole is made up of a relatively small percentage of the planet’s population, – for the purpose of this story I am suggesting the number is less than 0.001%. Such a relatively small grouping would still include all royal families, all fiefdoms, several thousand of the planet’s wealthiest families and all of their subservient political, religious leaders and war-lords. On the whole these ruling classes rule over nation states that as often as not, are in conflict with each other, usually in a mad scramble for limited resources and maximising their profit/wealth. Consequently these ruling classes need to exercise power and control over the rest of us because they are totally dependant on us to continue producing and defending their wealth and their nation states. The rest of us therefor I am suggesting make up at least 99.999% of the planet’s population, a relatively large subordinate grouping that includes all working families, – employed and unemployed, all children, students, volunteers, conscripts, police, mercenaries, insurgents, terrorists, refugees and the homeless etc.

The ruling classes maintain their control over the rest of us by cleverly persuading us from cradle to grave that what they do for us is in our nations best interest and what they expect us to do in return is therefor in our own best interests. Using secular stories ie political, economic, security, legal and spiritual stories ie religious, with reward and punishment themes, the ruling classes divide the rest of us into so many different nation states, ethnic cultures, religious beliefs, and socio economic classes that their control over us is almost guaranteed. While ecological, biological and environmental diversity is essential for our survival as a species and while cultural diversity has and can be good for our human development, unfortunately the ruling classes have long since perfected their ability to manipulate these phenomena via their primary strategy of ‘divide and conquer’, hence their need to continue persuading the rest of us to forget that we are planetary, that we are in fact related to each other.

When considering the ruling class strategy of divide and conquer, the rest of us do well to remember that most of our early human development including our emerging spiritual awareness – our learning how to relate to other and all-that-is, and our more fundamental material inventions such as tool making, symbolic, verbal and written expression, took place during a period when resources were shared and people cooperated with each other as a matter of survival. Moreover, we can think of this as a period of creative human development that took place without the encumbrance of the yet to emerge ruling classes, without their cleverly thought out jealous god stories, without their nation states and without their standing armies. This creative pre ruling class period is genetically remembered by every cell in our body as a period when the personal, the spiritual and the political was experienced as planetary, this is the way we were throughout our early human development.

If as a species we want a to secure a future for our descendants that does not depend on gratuitous violence as a means of resolving conflict – at any level, we must first rid ourselves of the existing ruling classes. The logic of a planetary ruling class divided into competing, conflicting, warring nation states must be replaced with the logic of a democratic, class free planetary society. The logic of a global system of production, distribution and consumption based on the accumulation of profit and wealth that mainly benefits a small minority ruling class must be replaced with the logic of a global system of production, distribution and consumption that meets the needs of the whole of society. What we all – including the so-called ruling classes, now need is a democratic planetary social system that is capable of being environmentally safe and viable for all future generations.

Thanks to my daily and seasonal PaGaian practice of celebrating cosmic creativity in general and our planet’s Earth/Sun/Moon relationship in particular, I can safely claim that for me the personal and the spiritual is first and foremost planetary. Until recently I had almost given up on the idea of a political story that I could relate to as planetary, then I came across the World Socialist Web Site WSWS.org and the International Committee of the Fourth International ICFI with its Social Equality Party SEP. I have even gone so far as to start referring to myself as a born again PaGaian Trotskyist.

More of my journeying into the political as planetary can be found at malpataffy.com

 

Taffy Seaborne

Southern Autumn 2014

 

A plague of insurrections.

The first decades of the twenty-first century have been plagued by a spate of political insurrections because during this period we have reached a new peak of social inequality. I won’t bother giving you all the gory details because if you are experiencing the brunt of inequality you probably don’t need or want them, if you are fortunately not feeling the brunt of inequality then you can google or wiki such detail for yourself. Suffice for me to say that a very small and unnecessary ruling class is the cause of social inequality and hence a big problem for the rest of us.

 For the purpose of this story I am saying the so-called ruling class is made up of 0.001% – at most, of the planet’s population. Hence the rest of us – call us what you like, make up the other 99.999%. The means by which such a small percentage of us humans are able to rule it over the rest of us is their ownership of production and the vast bulk of the wealth gained thereby. Using capitalism or better still ‘neoliberalism’ ie capitalism with the gloves off, to globalise productivity and nation-state political boundaries to confine labour – the actual producers, the ruling class is able to exploit labour in order to maximise profit and their own wealth in particular. This together with impressive increases in productive efficiency and a not so impressive system of ‘finance monopoly capital’ is why and how social inequality exists and has now reached a new global peak or tipping point.

The level of ownership and wealth enjoyed by the ruling class also enables them to divide and conquer the rest of us to the extent necessary for them to continue being able to rule it over the rest of us no matter how much we resist or even revolt. The ruling class has the rest of us divided in more than enough ways for them to believe that their hegemony will never be overthrown. For centuries they have successfully divided the rest of us into nation states, racial/ethnic groups, religions, political parties, upper, middle and lower socioeconomic groups, academics, professionals, skilled, semi skilled, labourers, even a socially constructed – as distinct from biologically constructed, gender difference.

While some of these divisions may be important to us – especially if we are enjoying a relatively good quality of life, this is not so for the vast majority of the 99.999% of us. With social inequality at its present level we are already witnessing increasing austerity, poverty, fascism, chauvinism, racism and a real threat of war between so-called super powers which would almost inevitably become a nuclear war. To rid ourselves of exploitation, social inequality and the threat of a nuclear war we must rid ourselves of the ruling class and its dominant, imperialist, economic and political institutions. To do this we must first neutralise the primary ruling class strategy of ‘divide and conquer’ by adopting our own primary strategy, a revolutionary class struggle of us versus them.

It is worth pointing out here that all 100% of us humans have no need for a minority ruling class. Throughout most of our material and cultural evolution we not only produced our own basic needs, we also invented the foundations of our present day mechanical and technological advantages – ie verbal and written language, agriculture, numeracy, medicine, pottery and weaving, most if not all of which were produced without the encumbrance of a ruling class. As it happened, most if not all of these early inventions took place within pre-Neolithic, indigenous, matrilineal societies, a time when lore, land, resources and productivity were held in common and shared among so-called primitive people. This was a period of original, organic commune-ism when a ruling class was unthinkable, when social equality was the norm.

For me there is only one political party that comes anywhere near providing the kind of guidance and leadership now required to help the rest of us get rid of the ruling class and out of the impoverished economic and miserable social circumstances that so many of our brothers and sisters now find themselves in, namely the Socialist Equality Party (SEP) of the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI) launched by Leonard Trotsky in 1938 with these words –

“We are not a party like other parties… Our aim is the full material and spiritual liberation of the toilers and exploited…”

The real difference between the ICFI/SEP and any other political party is well expressed during a recent interview by WSWS.org with Yuri Primakov the 87-year-old son of Markovitch Primakov a hero of the one and only event to date when the ruling class was overthrown by the then working class – the Oct 1917 Russian revolution.

“They didn’t care about money and they truly believed in communism. They were convinced that they had to fight for the betterment of humankind, not just for the improvement of their own material position. If you compare that to the elites today, who don’t give a damn about the people and are interested only in the market rates of their companies on the stock exchange, then you can see what degradation has taken place.”

For the kind of political and cultural information that can help all 100% of us to achieve the quality of life we want for ourselves and our families, I recommend you visit the World Socialist Web Site – WSWS.org

malpataffy.com

Rank and File Revolutionary Committees

“He who does not seek and does not find the road to the masses is not a fighter but a dead weight to the party. A program is formulated not for the editorial board or for the leaders of discussion clubs, but for the revolutionary action of millions.”

(Leon Trotsky 1938)

Surely we now have more than enough evidence that political insurrections that are supported by the military force of imperialist USA, its NATO allies – usually in the name of democracy and human rights, are an abject failure. Following the relatively recent insurrections in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Egypt, Syria, Venezuela and the Ukraine with live daily media coverage of the death, destruction and human suffering within these nation states, it is blatantly evident that their populations have achieved nothing. If anything they have jumped out of the frying pan into the fire and in most cases are even worse off than they were before their regimes were changed.

While it is very encouraging to see the number of anti-war meetings to be held by the Socialist Equality Party (SEP) and the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE) in the coming weeks, is the party doing all it can to ‘find the road to the masses’? For example, should we have a permanent section of the WSWS home page dedicated to the formation of new rank and file SEP – regional and workplace committees and IYSSE campus committees? How do the cadre who believe they are ready, willing and able to contribute to and or form such committees make their interest known to the party?

malpataffy.com

The Class Struggle.

 

I am no expert on the subject of class struggle, in fact I am relatively new to it having only recently (since 2010) chosen the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI) and its Socialist Equality Party (SEP) as my preferred political party and the World Socialist Web Site (WSWS.org) and Monthly Review (An Independent Socialist Magazine) as my preferred source of political and economic information. My reason for wanting to participate in and contribute to the class struggle as defined by the SEP, is because it is a political story that supports my pre-existing world view and personal values. For me this is a combining of spiritual and secular stories that would have been most unlikely without the benefit of the World Wide Web.

As with our spiritual vision, so too with our ecological and social visions,they are planetary by nature and PaGaian by name.

(Taffy Seaborne & Glenys Livingstone Ph.D.)

Furthermore, I look forward to being corrected, guided and encouraged by my fellow comrades who have had a much longer engagement with the class struggle than I. In the mean time and for what its worth, this is how I now see the class struggle.

The very necessity of general political action, affords the proof that in its merely economic action capital is the stronger side.

(Karl Marx – Value, Price and Profit, 1935)

There’s class warfare, all right, but its my class the rich class, that’s making war and we’re winning.

(Warren Buffet  – New York Times, Nov 26th 2006)

A report commissioned by Bloomberg last month found that the world’s 300 richest people (0.000004 percent of the world’s population)had a net wealth of $3.7 trillion in 2013, an increase of $524 billion (13 percent) in one year alone.

(WSWS.org  – Editorial, Feb 7th 2014)

The revolt of the underlying population therefore must take the form of a general political offensive against what is an unequal and irrational system…All reality and all hope demand a new system of production and consumption, beyond capital and beyond mere wage labor.

(Fred Magdoff & John Bellamy Foster, Monthly Review, Jan 2014)

Even Karl Marx whose academic rigour on the subject of economy put him in a league of his own, could not have predicted the unfathomable levels of wealth accumulated by todays ruling class.

The single most important requirement for a successful overthrow of the ruling class and its divisive nation-state, religious, imperialist and monopoly finance capitalism system of dominance, is for the rest of us – at least 99% of the planet’s population, to believe in and act as though we are a single opposing class – the working class.

To divide and conquer is clearly a very successful strategy used by the ruling class. Consequently, it stands to reason that anything more divided than a two class struggle must work proportionally in favour of the ruling class being able to continue its dominance over the rest of us.

At present (2014 CE) the ruling class has the rest of us divided in more than enough ways for them to believe that their hegemony cannot be seriously threatened, let alone overthrown. The ruling class has successfully divided the rest of us into nation states, racial groups, religions, political parties, upper, middle and lower socioeconomic groups, and by gender.

While some of these divisions may seem important to us at present – especially if we are enjoying a relatively good quality of life and we don’t like the idea of being labelled working class, this is not an option for the vast majority of our fellow human beings. Moreover, an accelerating number of those among us who have enjoyed relatively more wealth than most – the so called middle and upper classes, find themselves being laid off and looking for work in a rapidly shrinking market place. The reason why most of our fellow human beings cannot enjoy a peaceful, sustainable, decent quality of life is because we have allowed – even encouraged, a disproportionately small (probably less than 1%) number of us to morph into becoming a very powerful, imperialist and greedy ruling class.

At the species level we humans have never really needed a minority ruling class. Throughout most of our material (biological) and cultural (educational) evolution we not only looked after our basic needs in a communal way, we also invented all the pre-requisites for our present post industrial, modern technological era, all of which we produced without the encumbrance of a ruling class.

Only when the rest of us reduce the class struggle down to just two classes will we be able to overcome the ruling class strategy of divide and conquer. Only then will we be able to achieve victory and a single – or better still classless, society that produces its communal needs and provides a decent quality of life for all of us, not just a privileged few of us.

Nowadays (2014 CE) there is an even more compelling reason for the rest of us – working class, to rid ourselves of the ruling class. Evidence is now mounting with the re-militarization of Japan and Germany that it won’t be long before history repeats itself for the umpteenth time and the sabre rattling of the ruling class will once again trip over into war between so-called ‘super powers’. Then as before, it will be the rest of us – particularly the youth among us, who will be called upon by the ruling class to do their killing.

It is no accident that as Abe is refurbishing Japanese militarism, the new grand coalition government in Germany is repudiating its previous policy of military restraint. Nor is the Japanese government the only one rewriting history. The British and Australian governments, among others, are seizing on the anniversary of World War I to glorify the bloodbath that claimed the lives of millions in the inter-imperialist struggle for colonies, markets and strategic dominance.

(WSWS.org Editorial, 8th Feb 2014)

Because of what is now happening in Eastern Europe (Ukraine), the Middle East (Syria) and in the Asia-Pacific, we must alert ourselves to the violent, imperialist nature of the international ruling class and the fact that it is unable and unwilling to fight its own battles, for this it relies entirely on the rest of us in the form of a universal soldier. It is up to the universal soldiers among us – be they a conscript, volunteer, policeman, mercenary, terrorist or so-called insurgent, to think carefully about the story going on between their ears, then hopefully come to believe in and act as a member of a majority working class that simply refuse to kill or be killed at the behest of a violent, imperialist, minority ruling class.

It is not as though we don’t have any alternatives, there are plenty of them –

“There are a great many elements for an alternative developmental model. The alternative to privatization is not to privatize. The alternative to increased competition is more collaboration. The alternative to bureaucracy and control from above is democratization and participation from below. Alternatives to increasing inequalities and poverty are redistribution, progressive taxation, and free universal welfare benefits. The alternative to the destructive speculation economy is socialization of the bank and credit institutions, the introduction of capital controls, and the prohibition of dealing with suspect financial instruments. The list can be made much longer than this.”

 (Asbjorn Wahl, European Labor – Monthly Review, Jan 2014),

furthermore the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI) and its Social Equality Party (SEP) with its emphasis on permanent revolution, international socialism and equality is showing us how to get where we need to be by laying out the red carpet…

Malpataffy,

Feb 2014