Post number 212

Joćo, Porto
Lawyer, age: 40 - 50 years
  Useful, but maybe a few problems
4-Jun-2001 3:49 pm

On Pluralism in a Workers' Democracy

I was very interested in the views exposed in the introduction to "Proletarian Democracy". They have yo do to a vital political question of workers' rule, of the kind we all hope to see the emergence of some time soon. But we don't know how soon and in what conditions this will come about.
Therefore, I'm not quite sure if we can deal with this question - that I would call of pluralist workers' rule - right now, in a theoretical (that is, scientific) way. I'm certain that pluralism will be the best option for a period when workers' rule is firmly established and the transition to communism is proceading at cruise speed.
But until then, there is another vital principle we must make sure not to forget. And that is workers' UNITY.

I live in Portugal, a country which as seen a a large revolutionary upheavel in 1974-5.
Back then, one of the main lines of battle with the bourgeoisie was (quite predictably) about the trade-unions.
Workers were organised in a large confederation, the CGTP-In, which was left-wing and pro-revolutionary.
The bourgeoisie was upset and started to organize parallel "yellow" unions.
They did, of course, in the name of pluralism and the right of freedom of association.
What they were really after was of breaking the back of the workers' movement, which they finally achieved.

They did it with the overwhelming economic means at their disposal.
The "Introduction" seems to assume that this won't be possible anymore in the internet age.
I'm not very sure about that. Up to now, cyber-democracy doesn't seem to be a reality.
The large majority of hits are on corporate based sites which use large quantities of hired labour on them.
The "Introduction" tells us that won't be possible anymore under workers' rule.
Hired labour would be banned (or severely restricted) on the media, by the principle of separation of speach from property.
Judging by the present state of things, that would be indeed a very extreme measure, very difficult to enforce all of a sudden.
The fact is, we really don't know much about the conditions under which workers' rule will come about.
Will it be a world-wide revolution?
Will some workers'-ruled countries have to fight against powerful imperialist powers?

Anyway, the "Introduction" is a very useful and refreshing document.
It remembers us all that a future that doesn't bring with it at least a very tangible prospect of freedom, is one not really worth fighting for.


Recommended Websites
My own.