Re: Should young revolutionaries go to university as long as possible?

4th August 2015, 06:07

It is a matter of commitment. You cannot assume that you are a Communist for all the right reasons. This is quite the problem - Why are you a Communist must be the first question. How seriously do you take such ideas? To be a Communist requires the maturity of being able to not fall back on moral abstractions like "because I want a better society" or "because I am against exploitation". To be a Communist is irreducible to this kind of rhetoric.

University can be useful, in some ways, in that - if you can afford it - it might be a decent place to search for like-minded individuals, obtain degrees that might (I cannot think of much) be useful for political work, and so on. The problem is that you cannot be a Communist as a student.

But no, going to university isn't going to give you the education necessary to constitute a "vanguard", in fact, as a committed Communist, if you go to university you ought to retain a mentality of critical vigilance in courses that pertain to social processes. You could try organizing your fellow students, for example - but how far could this extend? Student's loyalty to political causes is usually just a temporary idiosyncrasy, stages of their life until they go on to become yuppie scum. But, for example, if you might be able to help organize students whose prospects at paying off their college debt look dim, and so on. Besides that, you could try to organize students on political lines with no illusions of them constituting a basis of revolution, counteract reactionary ideas and so on. To fight the class struggle in domains outside of the direct class struggle, however, requires consciousness of the reality that you are not fighting as a student, or as an individual, you are fighting for something that is infinitely beyond you.

It is a matter of - as mentioned, acquiring a sense of humility. Immerse yourself in the theoretical tradition first, if you cannot do this, then your reasons for calling yourself a Communist are probably stupid.

Originally Posted by potatofucker666 View Post
I find capitalism to be an inefficient system of distributing goods. It's very wasteful yet it still doesn't meet everyone's needs. I also believe that we reach our full potential when cooperating, not when competing.
These are moral abstractions, though - playing the utilitarian game assumes a substrate of morality. Capitalism is very efficient. Don't believe me? Look at how resilient, and how dynamic it has been in sustaining itself for the past one hundred years.

In addition, capitalism is very cooperative, as is every society - in fact, with the increased socialization of labor what we see in capitalism is the general reduction of inter-capitalist competition and even planning-esque mass cross coordination between different financial cartels, corporations, trusts, etc.

In a post-capitalist society, there is no reason to think there will be "less" competition, either. So these don't suffice - the reality is that anti-capitalism can only take a critical role: If capitalism does not have to exist, then one can only oppose it, for its existence is contingent upon the notion that it's the "best we've got". Of course everyone recognizes capitalism is "bad", always. The point is the superstition that constrains the conditions of possibility, in their minds.
Originally Posted by potatofucker666 View Post
I see an economic system as a tool with the ultimate goal of producing as much as possible and tending to the needs as much as possible while wasting as little as possible.
This is however, not only an anti-Marxist notion of economics, it is thoroughly apolitical. That is, the idea of an economic system as a "tool" is particular to the logic of technocratic neoliberalism. We Marxists, conversely, recognize rather the opposite - that it is men and their needs which are "tools" of a given mode of production, to reproduce it.

An "economic system" within the confines of capitalism can vary. A mode of production, which is the sum-total of relations to production, and the process of how things are produced and distributed, varies only on a historic level.

If that is based on morals, then how should I attack capitalism
By immersing yourself in the rich anti-capitalist theoretical tradition, first and foremost. The first step is recognizing that "capitalism" is not an entity, an idea, that is outside of us. It is absolutely constitutive of our lives, and our very being. The second step is recognizing that there are antagonisms that are also constitutive of our lives. What this means is that yes - capitalism does create a standard that it cannot abide by.

So the third step is recognizing what exactly these antagonisms are, and where their conclusion brings us. It is the job of Leftists to approximate these, transform them into real political language, and foster the growth of a Communist movement.

One does not need to do this by telling people how bad capitalism is. People know how bad capitalism - or should I say, their lives are. What they need is an alternative. In the absence of an alternative that genuinely speaks to them, they become entangled in reaction.
Originally Posted by potatofucker666 View Post
So we basically need to stop informing people that they are being fucked, and instead teach them about a system where they won't be fucked? (sorry for the vulgarity) That makes sense.

More specifically, offer them direction in a way that shows them an alternative is possible. This can only be done by engagement on political level.