How Capitalist Politics Undermines Working Class Organizations: The Way Forward

Karl Marx
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By Comrade Ogbu A. Ameh
The state operates in the interest of Capital, but this does not mean that struggle over the State are all version of bourgeois politics. It is a fundamental error when the bourgeoisie equate politics with “Capitalist Politics” and treat “Communism” as a form of anti- politics. Alex Callinicos article in International Socialism 143 edition succinctly analyze this perspective in “Thunder on The Left”.
Marx wrote of “concentration of bourgeois society in the form of the State. In other words, as the State plays a decisive role in the reproduction of Capitalist relations of production, the contradictions of bourgeois society fused in it. Consequently, struggle over the State cannot just perpetuate Capitalist domination, but also threatens it.
The political field is a play and transfigured social antagonism translated into a specific language full of shift, condensation and revelatory lapses. Lenin posits that; “a revolutionary party can intervene in the political field in order to help bring about the overthrow of Capital. Flowing from the above trajectory, Bensaid also stresses the centrality of strategy of the determined, persistent organized effort to relate specific tactics to the overarching aim of Socialist revolution.
In this light, Gramsci expresses the fundamental connection between grasping Capitalism as a totality and giving primacy to politics; the philosophy of praxis does not aim at the peaceful resolution of existing contradictions in history and society but rather the very theory of these contradictions. It is not the instrument of government of the dominant group in order to gain the consent of and exercise hegemony over the working class. it is the expression of this working class who want to educate themselves in the art of government and who have an interest in knowing all truths, even the unpleasant ones and in avoiding the deception of the ruling class and even more, their own leaders”
There is a clear point of departure between Communism and anti-politics or the autonomist myth that, it is possible to change the world without taking power and thereby renounce strategy. We must avoid the illusion of the young Egyptians in 2011- 2012 who thought the street movement was sufficient in itself. We must dedicate our time to learn that, it is necessary to pursue a variety of tactics in order to win the active working class support needed to break the system. The crisis of the ruling class hegemony occurs either because the ruling class has failed in some major undertaking for which it has requested or forcefully extracted the consent of the masses. Secondly because huge masses especially, peasants, petty bourgeois and intellectuals have suddenly woken up from political slumber and put forward demands which taken together can add up to a revolution.
Gramsci warns; “When such crises occur, the immediate situation becomes delicate and dangerous because the field is open for violent solutions for activities of unknown forces.” In the context of Nigeria, these hitherto unknown forces are well known to us today. They have consistently waged violent onslaught through insurgent terror on the State and others are overt and outlandish in their various demands on the State. With this graphic scenario, we live witness to pervasive corruption of the political class and the pollution of power by money through fraud flowing from the loot of public treasury.
The political elites freed from either real division above or significant accountability below can afford to enrich themselves without distraction or retribution. If there was an attempt, it had to do with clash of the bourgeoisie divergent group interests. Exposure ceases to matter very much as impunity becomes the rule. Like bankers, leading politicians do not go to jail in Nigeria as they deploy looted funds to fight back tenaciously. Corruption is not just but a function of the decline in the bourgeois political order but a symptom of the economic regime propped by Capital to sustain the State in power.
Comrade Ogbu A. Ameh can be reached via the email:

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