To continue the dialogue on militant reformism, this week we post an expansive piece on the viability of reforming capitalism written by Nate Hawthorne. This week’s post dovetails with the piece from last month on the Argentinian crisis of the early 2000’s and S. N. Nappalos’ piece called Responding to the growing importance of the state in the workers’ movement.
Nate’s article first appeared in the book The End of the World as We Know It? which was edited by Deric Shannon.
Cacerolazo in Plaza de Mayo. Banner reads “ALL OF THEM MUST GO – Government of workers and neighborhood assemblies”
The Argentinian crisis at the opening of the 21st century and the aftermath of those events up to the present day are an important experience. For some of us here at Recomposition, these events relate to what we’ve discussed in terms of militant reformism, the idea of mobilizing a population to fight for reforms that would yield to an improved form of capitalism. We think we’re likely to see more of this, and with that in mind, we hope to stir up dialogue by presenting some excerpts from Sebastian Touza’s introduction to an article by Colectivo Situaciones, and then excerpts from the article “Crisis, Governmentality and New Social Conflict: Argentina as a laboratory” by the Colectivo Situaciones. Lastly we link to a piece about militant reformism by S. N. Nappalos.
From Sebastian Touza’s intro:
“Chanting ‘All of them must go!’, on December 19th and 20th, 2001, massive…Read More
The campaigns of Kshama Sawant and Ty Moore have generated a lot of debate around the role of elections in overcoming capitalism. Both candidates came from Socialist Alternative, a party with roots in the broader social democratic and trotskyist traditions that moved to electoral activity relatively recently. Sawant won her election to Seattle’s city council, and Moore lost by a hair.
A changing social and political landscape is shifting the boundaries of electoral action and the relationships of radicals both to candidates and their own activity. Narrowing in on one aspect of the debate, today we will look at the contributions of three short pieces coming from Minneapolis, where Ty Moore ran his unsuccessful campaign. The authors were responding to the discussion and activity locally as people active in struggles opposed to State power all together, including efforts to capture and reform the existing capitalist State. Though we lack the space, we strongly encourage going through a fourth piece by the Black Orchid Collective in Seattle that explores similar themes in response to their own situation with the candidacy of Sawant. Also the commentary to the pieces that follow and Black Orchid contain replies both from the authors and other people active in the relevant cities, and is worth reading. The articles are listed in chronological order as they reply to one and another.
There are a few themes to focus in on. The authors debate whether or not it matters to oppose attempts to move towards socialism through elections. Within this there is a deeper debate about how close and how likely attempts to make reforms are to impede more radical alternatives. Given that a presidential election season is approaching rapidly, and militant reformism is increasingly becoming a mobile social force, these questions are likely to face us again.