[OPE] Wildcat [82], "Beyond the Peasant International"

From: Gerald Levy <jerry_levy@verizon.net>
Date: Fri Oct 31 2008 - 15:58:33 EDT

From: "antoniamautempo@gmx.net" <antoniamautempo@gmx.net>
Subject: Wildcat 82 - Text on peasant movements,
proletarianisation and constitution of a global working class

'Beyond the Peasant International' - New text on peasant movements,
proletarianisation and constitution of a global working class, published
in issue 82 of wildcat
 As ongoing struggles confront new conditions in the escalating crisis,
fighting will be concentrated along two main frontlines. Once the
struggles along these two lines merge and communicate things will heat
up: it could be the precondition for finally putting an end to this
system and starting something new and better! At one frontline the urban
working class of the highly productive web of factories, offices and
informal economy will have to smash the increased polarisation between
over-exploitation and unemployment. At the second frontline all those
will fight who were subjected to and subjects in the silent and
invisible revolution of the last decades: the rural proletariat of the
global south. The main division of any previous revolution has been
dissolved, the division between the urban working class and the
peasantry. During the last decades the personal relations of
exploitation of the soil and village life have been replaced by a mass
existence of semi-proletarianisation: more than two billion people on
this planet live under this condition, depending both on wage work and
small-scale agricultural activities. Many of those on this 'second
frontline' frequently migrate back and forth across the boundaries
between countryside and town, boundaries which are themselves
increasingly blurred by this labour mobility and by the spread of
infrastructure. Current mass lay-offs in the Chinese and Indian export
zones on one hand, and the increasing push of the rural poor towards the
promises of urban life on the other will engender huge social waves in
both directions. When the anger and desire of these two sections of the
proletariat meet, the end of this system will become visible. And those
in power know about this: the main concern of the Chinese and Indian
ruling class was to prevent a situation in which the overproduction
crisis of the global north and the ensuing flow of cheap agricultural
products would increase the turmoil in the countryside. The WTO summit
in July 2008 failed? at least in propaganda terms? when it came to the
question of the poor Indian peasants. Currently the Indian and Chinese
states are coming up with history's largest 'land-reforms' (China) and
work schemes (NREGA in India), in order to control the reproduction and
movements of the rural poor. They need a calm hinterland for these times
of crisis, and they have to make sure that the urban/rural divide will
remain as their last steady pillar of power. After the food riots this
summer all major think-tanks, ranging from agribusiness to the French
government to the UN, warned that too quick a demise of the small
peasantry could cause even heavier trouble in future. They helplessly
suggested a revival of the small rural petty producer, who would exist
at starvation level, but at least in a stable, isolated and controllable
starvation. While those in power are engaged in an existential battle
with global proletarian mobility, large sections of the left still
haven't abandoned the ideological notions of the long-gone world. They
still ponder in Maoist and Leninist terms about possible alliances
between workers and peasants, or they create new ideologies of
small-scale subsistence as a social alternative.
On these two front-lines, merely 'anti-neoliberal' ideologies and the
'peasant romanticism' of the left will do the most harm to prospects of
radical change. In the current social turmoil these ideologies will
become handy tools in the capitalist rescue-kit rather than helping us
to grasp the potential for liberation within the ongoing developments.
With the following text on the 'agrarian question and peasant
movements', published this summer in issue 82 of the German magazine
Wildcat, we want to contribute to the debate for a revolutionary change
and to help make the waves meet. Let's spill!

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Received on Fri Oct 31 16:05:18 2008

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