Today’s gender of the day is: Xerneas
Reformism takes away from direct action and our abilty to try and create local radicalism. That’s it.
"Reformism" is useful to the extent that it isn’t considered an end-aim or a process by which socialism can be recognised, but a process by which class consciousness, ie the recognition of conflict between classes and the opposition of the proletarian ‘self’ to the capitalist ‘other’, can come about and thus contribute to the wholesale overthrow of capitalism as a system.
The thing is, if a reformist party is only about raising class consciousness and nothing else, then it can never allow itself to be in a position where it must subdue or disencourage the direct action of workers in struggle, because that everyday struggle is the only place where class consciousness is developed.
The fact that each and every reformist party, nomatter how nominally “revolutionary” has done exactly this is therefore a problem if you want to espouse this position. Political realities are such that people bargaining with the bourgeoisie on behalf of the working class are severely compromised in those negotiations if the people they are supposed to be representing are acting unlawfully. When a party has put lots of time and effort into trying to achieve a reform within the parameters of the system, the need to make sure that no one in their camp steps outside of those parameters becomes extremely important, because their parliamentary enemies can take advantage of this in order to defeat the reform.
In reformist praxis, the message from the top to the grassroots must always be ‘stick to the line’, ‘have patience’, ‘do it by the book’ - because sudden changes in the movement and ‘extreme’ outbursts are what derail the reform process. This is because the reform process has been rigged by the class who designed it to maintain order and keep popular struggles under the supervision of a political class with a vested interest in subduing, controlling and reappropriating grassroots rebellion.
Firstly I wouldn’t support “reformism" as a praxis but I do support, in some degrees and situations, reform as an act. Fighting for reforms is one of the primary ways in which the struggle between classes can be engaged with by ‘the people’, and orient it towards the end goal of the overthrow of capitalism as an entire system - The class struggle is not separate to reforms, but instead reforms are the embodiment and the engagement of the class struggle within the bourgeois political sphere.
Reform, to the degree that it is the product of genuine proletarian demands and requirements, is vital in that it allows for our engagement with the political system and also a visible emergence as a movement of struggle against capitalism.
The issue of “reformism” is not simply that it advocates for reforms, but rather because it opposes ‘reform’ to ‘revolution’ and thus advocates only for reform. Without the end-goal of revolution and therefore the overthrow of capitalist tyranny, reformism is simply a movement within this despotic rule of capital.
Therefore, a genuine proletarian movement for reform, as a means of survival (in the case of healthcare and similar), and a means of mounting political assault upon capitalism, as well as a means of producing the “seeds” of a future socialist society, is vital. It is true that “class struggle is the only place where class consciousness is developed”, and the fight for reform is a facet by which this conflict is engaged in by the movement and by which the movement becomes apparent as a radical opposition.
In conclusion, I think I could agree with you for a large part of your response, but I am caught in a strange position whereby I’m attempting to mount an attack upon reformism, while simultaneously defending reforms as class mobilisation.
My response is probably all over the place, and isn’t as well-put as I wish I could’ve put it. I’m finding it hard to concentrate on writing today sorry.
No, I totally agree with you, there are plenty of worthwhile reforms I reckon all anarchists should support. I suppose that I always assume “reformism” means the specific praxis, and I was meaning to address the argument people often make that you can support reformist parties and working class autonomy at the same time. I agree that fighting for reforms through direct action can raise class consciousness, I just think that reformism (working for reforms through bourgeois channels) cannot. I’ve been quoting a lot of Malatesta recently so why break the habit now:
"We welcome reforms, if they are possible. They have a fleeting contribution to make and can rouse the masses to more ambitions and demands, provided that proletarians keep it well in mind that bosses and governments are their enemies and that whatever they grant is wrested from them by force or fear of force and would quickly be snatched back, should that fear be lifted."
Shakira - Suerte (Whenever, Wherever)
the only posts i make that get notes are shakira songs clearly ive found my Calling
The Institute - a documentary about a three-year long cult-like alternate reality game that took San Francisco by storm.
this has been sitting in my netflix queue for a few weeks but i finally watched it and it’s very cool and fucked up
i know its supposed to be like social list but did anyone think this through
organize the things you love, like the economy
collaborate in the workplace
share lists, photos, and the means of production
i turned on my laptop this morning and the date was set for tomorrow so i thought i was late for work so i freaked out and died but im ok now
yeserday i cleaned out my desk drawers and filled out a bunch of forms so i feel a lot more on track and less anxious
- there’s a work study position for an arts programming co-ordinator at the university radio station that i would absolutely kill to get so i’m going to apply for that as soon as possible.
- we’ve almost decided on a show for the company im directing this year which is very exciting
- i have a good feeling about how things are going to go with film club this year
- really the only thing i still have to tackle are all these half-finished scripts but other than that i feel like im on track for a very productive exciting year
- leave me an ask with three hex codes for your favourite colours and i’ll use them in a pretty pattern because i feel like drawing today
The Apartment / 1960 / dir. Billy Wilder
we officially know what normcore is