Date: Tue May 24 2005 - 18:57:51 EDT
> [...] --- what are you going to do about capitalist power-- > police, army, courts, etc if you renounce the idea of taking > power (which means taking power away from them)? Michael L, The police and army can be won over to the side of the revolution or, if necessary, involuntarily disarmed by the people without "seizing state power". There can be workers' councils (such as Soviets) which are popularly elected and represent workers. Perhaps, also, there can be "autonomous zones" outside of the control of the state. I know of no tendency on the Left that it opposed to the principles of *self-defense* and *collective organization*. Should the working class be attacked, they have every right to defend themselves, their organizations, and their autonomy. Without the armed might of the police and the military, whatever orders issued by the courts lack muscle. Indeed, if the courts were to issue orders to the police or military etc. which they refused to obey (for example after appeals from workers' organizations) then that would demonstrate to all that they know longer can maintain power. The power that the capitalist state has ultimately comes from capital. One doesn't have to "seize the state" to expropriate capitalist property and power. Workers can do it themselves and, again, if they are attacked they can organize to defend themselves. Similarly land reform can happen without the initiative of the state (as it did in 1917 when the peasants themselves, without 'permission' from the Bolsheviks) seized the holdings of many of the large private landowners. To quibble a bit with the title of John's book: one can take and make power without seizing _state_ power. The Zapatistas in Chiapas truly have power even though they don't have state power, don't they? The Soviets had power before they were disbanded, didn't they? Isn't the identification of power with state power (i.e. that the only legitimate claim to power is by the state) the state perspective on power? In solidarity, Jerry PS: > If there are matters of theory which separate us, [Mike L and John H] > let's battle them out in HM where there's the opportunity to develop > arguments rather than soundbytes. Taking into consideration how quickly _HM_ can and will print such an exchange and allowing for a back-and-forth exchange of perhaps 3 contributions each, there could well be either global socialism by that time or human extinction. In either event, that would make such an exchange moot. Expressing the matter in less of a tongue-in-cheek fashion: *If* you think that these issues are important *now*, the Internet is the best medium for such an exchange, imo.
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