A comradely critique of the ‘Communistisch Platform’

July 28, 2014 in Party & Programme by Thomas Chefsky

Published below is a comradely critique from Jacob Richter of platform text of the ‘Communistisch Platform’, our comrades who run a website in Dutch. In this letter Jacob Richter felt it necessary to address some apparent shortcommings and questions some of the formulations of the platform:


Seven key points are needed for the second point, I think:

  1. The abolition of private ownership relations over all productive and other non-possessive property;
  2. The abolition of all forms of debt slavery;
  3. The abolition of all forms of management that facilitate surplus labour appropriations by any elite minority, and their systemic replacement with collective worker management (that is, planning, organization, direction, and control), and responsibility;
  4. The abolition of wage slavery and money-capital and their systemic replacement with extended collective worker management, directly over its own collective labour-time and over individual compensation based directly on it, and discarding any means of exchange that can be circulated or hoarded;
  5. The abolition of all divisions of labour beyond technical ones;
  6. The abolition of classes and of the repressive instruments for the rule of minority classes; and
  7. The abolition of the economic family and other secondary yet socially revolutionary transformations aimed at abolishing non-class oppression and alienation.

This, if I recall correctly, is the brief but full maximum program.

I’m not sure the definition of “working class” should include the long-term unemployed or budding students yet to enter the workforce for the first time (as opposed to career-changing students).

The fourth point does not get to the fundamental point of becoming a class for itself. “The highest political form of unit, potentially, of the entire working class is the Communist Party: a political compass that gives direction to the universal human liberation” should read “The highest form of political entity, potentially, of the entire working class” and then mention party-movement and not just “Party.” “Universal human liberation” should be “universal human emancipation.”

The sixth point should immediately follow the second one, given the last abolition point of mine. Moreover, “liberation” here and throughout the text should be replaced by “emancipation.”

The seventh point is not transnational (a la Bordiga): “bundling of the various national parties in an international association of communist parties worldwide” should read “bundling of the various national and international political entities into one transnational organization.” Here and throughout the text, why “inter-nationalism”?

The ninth point on “This will continue peacefully as long as possible, but by force as well if needs be” repeats the old but crude heuristic. It should be something like “This will continue by legal means where possible, extra-legal and illegal ones when necessary, and with the non-worker authorities themselves determining the level of peace or violence.”

The mention of “the state” in other points should flow from the “repressive instruments for the rule of minority classes” definition that I gave above. I gave this definition years ago in a constructive exchange with anarchists in an attempt to formulate a common definition.

Somewhere in the tenth and eleventh points, there should be a clear rejection of reform coalitionism and mass strike-ism/direct “action”/etc. I should also add that the text should mention “institutions” and “institutional” more instead of the overly flexible “organizations” and “organizational.”



P.S. – The letter above is too long to shoe-fit demarchy in. That’s for a later letter, I think.